Issue Date: 
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Difference Between a RFI, RFQ and RFP

We are regularly asked what the difference is between a Request for Information (RFI), a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ).

"RFX" is a term used, to refer to all 'Request For…' documents used to solicit responses, of various types, from suppliers. The three common documents are:

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Quote (RFQ)

According to the Government's eTenders portal ( the differences between RFQ's, RFI's and RFP's are as follows:

Request for Information (RFI)

An RFI is generally used when the solution to a business problem is not immediately evident or clearly defined. The RFI is used to gather information, NOT to make a selection or an award.
The Supply Chain Management Unit works with the Customer to:

  • Clearly describe the problem;
  • Solicit external expertise regarding how to solve the problem;
  • Study proposed solutions.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFQ is used when the Customer understands the business problem and what's needed to solve it, including specifications and procedures. Price is usually not the determining factor in the evaluation of an RFP. Factors such as quality, service, and reputation are also taken into consideration.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

An RFQ is generally used to obtain pricing, delivery information, terms and conditions from suppliers. In this case, requestors have a clear understanding of what they need, including requirements and specifications. To procure the exact product or service needed, the Customer provides the Supply Chain Management Unit with as much information as possible, including complete specifications, quantities, and delivery schedule.

The common thread between all three types of "RFX" documents is that the Customer/Government Entity is not obliged to appoint a service provider on the results from issuing any of these requests. The best way to know that a tender award will be made is when you respond to a formal quotation or a competitive bid.

Normally a formal quotation will be for goods or services with a value of between R30,000-00 and R200,000-00 and a competitive bid will be for goods or services with a value exceeding R200,000-00.

To learn all you need to know to respond to tenders correctly, and hopefully successfully attend our How-to-Tender workshops. Visit our website to find out more and to register. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Appointment of a Service Provider to Render a Standard Cleaning and Hygiene Service for the Period Of 24 Months for the Office Of Regional Land Claims Commissioner KZN Restitution Durban Office in the Kwazulu – Natal. 2018-11-08 11:00 SS- KZN 7/ 1/ 6/ 3 (681) 2L
Appointment of a Service Provider for the Supply,Delivery and Installation of High Density Steel Lockable Bulk Filling Bays for the Registry Rooms in the Regional Land Claims Commission(RLCC) At Cape Town 14 Long Street and Mowbray 19 Van Der Ster Building 2018-11-09 11:00 SSC WC Q19 (2018/ 2019) DRDLR
Request For Proposals for the Appointment of a Compliance Officer for the Office of the Accounting Officer. 2018-11-19 11:00 RFP 07/ 18/ 19
Supply and deliver sterile gauge swabs 100mmx100mm 8ply 500 pouches per box. x300Boxes 2018-10-29 11:00 ZNQ203/ 2018/ 2019
Supply and deliver red bag garbage 90litres 40micron packed in packet of 100. x1000 pkts 2018-10-29 11:00 280/ 2018/ 2019
Rendering of a gardening services to Stikland hospital for a period of three (3) years; Department of Health; Western Cape. 2018-11-16 11:00 WCGH SC 0181/ 2018
Re-Advertisement of an Appointment of a Legal Firm of Conveyancers to do the Transfer of Immovable Properties From Nkandla ,Big Five Hlabisa and Endumeni Local Municipalities to KZN Provincial Government 2018-11-16 11:00 ZNT04/ 18/ 19
Kakamas: Construction of a New Full Service School at Cillie Primary School. 2018-11-20 11:00 DRPW 019/ 2018
Kuruman/Gamopedi: Construction of Double ECD Classroom at Gamopedi Primary School. 2018-11-20 11:00 DRPW 017/ 2018
Mothibistad: Construction of Double ECD Classroom at Kudumane Primary School 2018-11-20 11:00 DRPW 018/ 2018
Mothibistad: Construction of a Ten Classroom Block (Replace Mobile Classrooms) at Baitiredi Secondary School 2018-11-20 11:00 DRPW 016/ 2018
Prieska: Construction of a New Technical Workshop at Prieska High School 2018-11-20 11:00 DRPW 020/ 2018
The removal and disposal of general waste, ash and garden waste, from Groote Schuur Hospital over a three (3) year period, with the option of extending the contract for an additional year. 2018-11-16 11:00 GSHPT25/ 2018
Ntabankulu CHC in Ntabankulu - Alfred Nzo District municipality: Refurbishments 2018-11-21 11:00 SCMU3- 18/ 19- 0369- HO
Calvinia: Construction of a Large Admin Block at Hantam Primary School 2018-11-20 11:00 DRPW 015/ 2018
The appointment of a private security contractor to render a security service at the aquarium building, Lower Beach Road, Sea Point, Western Cape province for a period of two (2) years. 2018-11-09 11:00 MLRF 155/ 19
Ronderbosch: Groote Schuur House/ Museum: Appointment of a Curator for a two year period. 2018-11-09 11:00 CPTSC 18/ 18
Provision of security services for a period of three years. 2018-11-16 12:00 DAC005/ 1819
Alternate office accommodation: 461.36m² and 15 parking bays for a period of 3 or 5yrs 2018-11-09 11:00 LS14/ 2018
Replace septic tank at Philani Clinic 2018-10-30 11:00 ZNQ 773/ 18


Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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