Note to Editors: Find attached soundbite in English by DA North West Member of Finance Portfolio Committee, Freddy Sonakile.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West noted the Annual Report on Non-Compliance with Payments of Suppliers’ Invoices for the 2020/21 financial year that was recently released by National Treasury.
The report indicated that North West only paid 21% of suppliers’ invoices within 30 days, making it the third highest contributor to late payment of suppliers in the country.
The North West remained in 3rd place in the category of unpaid invoices older than 30 days. The 3 537 invoices that were not paid in this financial year, makes for 9% of the total invoices.
The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) stipulates that payment to creditors must be made within 30 days and considering the current economic climate during the Covid-19 pandemic, payment should be prioritised.
In April 2020, the DA reported on the devastating impact that the failure to adhere to this legislative requirement has on Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).
The MEC for Department of Finance, Motlalepula Rosho, responded to our letter, stating that this matter is receiving the necessary attention, but evidently there is room for improvement.
The DA will submit written questions to her, requesting a list of departments that fail to pay suppliers on time and also what action will be taken against officials who are responsible.
The rendering of services to Provincial Departments are the bread and butter of many of SMMEs and other businesses and delaying payment is often detrimental to the survival of these businesses, which in turn, negatively affect the provincial economy.
This slow payment rate demonstrates the ANC-led Government’s apathy towards the people of North West and stands in stark contrast to the DA-led Western Cape that had no outstanding invoices at the end of this financial year.