Gauteng pledges to tackle late payment

13 July 2011

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13 July 2011 | Angeline Albert

Gauteng Province finance leader Mandla Nkomfe is urging public sector staff to pay suppliers within 15 days, despite the South African regional government’s continued failure to settle bills within 30 days.

Gauteng’s member of the executive committee for finance and economic affairs pushed for quicker payment for suppliers, but admitted the province was still “experiencing problems” complying with national legislation that stipulates bills be paid 30 days after invoicing.   

Although Nkomfe said there has been some improvement since problems of widespread late payment across the government of Gauteng Province in 2009/10, it continued to be an issue.

The previous problems with paying the bills in time have been attributed to wasteful spending of public money by some of Gauteng's departments. Some did notgo through the proper procurement process, which created holes in the authority’s overall budget and led to late payment.

This week, the regional authority said its centralised purchasing plans would remedy past failures.

Describing Gauteng’s efforts to find skilled buying staff, acting head of finance Nomfundo Tshabalala, said: “On the centralisation of procurement, the challenge of expertise has been highlighted as far as the evaluating of tenders, proper planning and also ensuring that at the end of the day contractors are paid on time. The centralisation will, in a way, try to deal with those issues, to ensure that [we] bring on board appropriate expertise.”

The province said some improvements to settling bills had been made thanks to automated processes, such as e-invoicing, with only a small number of departments currently failing to meet the 30-day payment rule. 

 

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