Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers ensure the effective supply of machinery, raw materials and services to enterprises by buying items, which are used or processed by the company.

The main duty of purchasing managers is to find suppliers that offer the best value. They compare catalogues and journals, telephone suppliers, examine samples and attend demonstrations and conferences. Consultation with employees in the various departments helps determine the specifications of the items needed.

Purchasing managers need to establish good business relationships with suppliers to obtain satisfactory payment plans, quick delivery for emergency orders and cost savings.

They are required to check delivered goods before payment can be authorized and therefore a sound knowledge of every aspect of the company is needed.

Personal Requirements

  • good verbal and written expression
  • able to work with others
  • alert to recognise and make use of favourable opportunities
  • negotiate in a tactful but decisive manner
  • confidence, persuasiveness and resilience

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course or in-service training.

Each institution has its own entry requirements.


What to Study

Degree: A relevant BCom degree such as Business Management or Purchase and Materials Management can be followed at most South African universities.
BCom, BBusSc, BAdmin, or a BA with business and marketing subjects.

Diploma: The N.Dip. Purchasing Management - VUT.

There are several private, technical and correspondence colleges that offer appropriate courses. Many companies have in-service training for their own purchasing personnel. Regular seminars are held by the Institute of Purchasing.


  • suppliers and distributors of any kind of merchandise
  • large companies
  • manufacturers of computers and communication equipment
  • city councils
  • regional government offices
  • mining groups

Further Information

Institute of Purchasing and Supply South Africa
Tel: (011) 331-6650

Programmes by Study Institutions

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