Faster pay for service providers

2012-02-22 00:00

PREMIER Zweli Mkhize’s announcement during his state of the province address that payments to service providers would be speeded up went down well with guests.

He said Operation Sikhokha Ngesihkathi, launched last year, had already processed invoices worth R16,9 million.

In terms of the Public Finance Management Act service providers must be paid within 30 days.

“If that does not happen they should phone our toll free number. The process is monitored by a team of independent business people,” he said to appreciative applause.

On supply chain management, Mkhize said the Treasury had agreed to lower the threshold for quotations from R1 million to R500 000. This would encourage competitive bidding and reduce collusion between officials and service providers.

Mkhize said the province was taking a strong stand to root out fronting. “Working with the BEE Council, a new provincial database will be used to eliminate fronting.” Those found guilty would be blacklisted.

The Treasury had also been instructed to pursue a price-marking project to protect the government from overpricing.

“To the extent that some of the cases appear to indicate collusion or features of insider trading, I have instructed Treasury to investigate the possible creation of a law to prohibit officials in public service from doing business with their employer,” he said. — Witness Reporter.

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