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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
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.