Prov­inces fail to pay con­trac­tors R896m owed

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

THE PROV­INCES owed con­trac­tors that ren­dered ser­vices to the Hu­man Set­tle­ments De­part­ment a whop­ping R896 mil­lion af­ter they failed to hon­our pay­ment of 1 085 pay­ments as at May.

This was re­vealed by Hu­man Set­tle­ments Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu in re­ply to a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion from the DA’s Mbulelo Bara.

Gaut­eng was lead­ing the prov­inces with out­stand­ing pay­ment of in­voices to­talling R597 mil­lion, fol­lowed by the Eastern Cape, which owed R176m and the Free State, R122m.

North West had not paid in­voices to­talling R5.4m, Mpumalanga R4.4m and Lim­popo R529 631.

Gaut­eng had the most un­paid in­voices, 824; Free State 277; the Eastern Cape 184; Lim­popo 50; Mpumalanga seven; and Lim­popo three for the pe­riod.

Only KwaZulu-Natal, the North­ern Cape and Western Cape were not ow­ing any con­trac­tors.

Sisulu said her de­part­ment was still grap­pling with the pay­ments of ser­vice providers within the stip­u­lated time frame of 30 days.

“The chal­lenges re­main and are mul­ti­fac­eted,” she said.

Sisulu said the rea­sons pro­vided by the prov­inces for the late pay­ment var­ied from late sub­mis­sion of in­voices to ver­i­fi­ca­tion of in­for­ma­tion.

“Some­times the re­quired de­tails for new sup­pli­ers are not al­ways avail­able in the fi­nan­cial sys­tem to fa­cil­i­tate pay­ments, due to in­ad­e­quate com­ple­tion of the reg­is­tra­tion forms by sup­pli­ers,” she added.

The Eastern Cape blamed non-pay­ment on the “shrink­age” of the eq­ui­table share due to com­mit­ments and “top slic­ing” of its bud­get.

She said the Free State not pay­ing con­trac­tors in the 30-day time frame was due to in­suf­fi­cient funds be­ing avail­able. “Free State has com­menced honour­ing these claims in the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year.”

Ac­cord­ing to Sisulu, Gaut­eng could make pay­ments be­cause the first pay­ment tranche was made by her de­part­ment late in May .

She said the prov­ince’s busi­ness plan was not ap­proved due to non-com­pli­ance, and the Di­vi­sion of Rev­enue Act pro­hib­ited trans­fer of funds be­fore the ap­proval of a busi­ness plan.

Lim­popo had ex­pe­ri­enced de­lays in reg­is­tra­tion of con­trac­tors with the cen­tral data­base sys­tem.

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