Eastern Cape government has 34 585 unpaid invoices worth R3bn, other provinces worth millions

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Anele Gxoyiya.
Anele Gxoyiya.


The Easter Cape government is the number one offender for failing to pay suppliers within the 30-day invoice payment provision.

At the end of March, the province had not paid 34 585 supplier invoices amounting to a little over R3 billion, the Public Service Commission (PSC) revealed during a media briefing on Tuesday.

PSC commissioner Anele Gxoyiya presented a quarterly bulletin covering the period from October 1 to December 31 2021.

The Eastern Cape, as well as Gauteng, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape were the five top contributors to non-payment of suppliers at the end of the fourth quarter.

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In the same period, Gauteng had 15 309 invoices at a cost of R1.7 million still outstanding, and North West had not paid more than R609 million for 7 137 invoices.

The bulletin reads:

Notable is the Northern Cape showing, for the first time, such a high amount owed to suppliers, at R153 601 137 for 8 498 invoices as at the end of March 2022, compared with 20 invoices [worth] R595 212 at the end of December 2021.

It was only the Western Cape that had no outstanding invoices by end of March. In February it had two outstanding invoices amounting to R27 727 which had not been paid within 30 days.

There was improvement in the payment of suppliers by national departments, but there were the usual culprits who failed to submit monthly reports to show whether or not they were adhering to the 30-day payment provision,

The commission lauded the department of water and sanitation which, for the first time since 2018, did not have any invoices owed to suppliers at the end of March.

Said the PSC: 

As at end of the fourth quarter, departments such as basic education, employment and labour, and international relations and cooperation failed to submit their monthly reports on time to [National Treasury] for the whole quarter.

“On the other hand, departments such as transport and the government communication information system did not submit monthly reports for January and February 2022. The above-mentioned departments are repeat defaulters for non-adherence to the submission deadline of monthly reports in comparison with the previous quarter.”

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“The late or non-submission of exception reports to the [National Treasury] by the due date, and non-compliance with the 30-day payment provision of the PFMA [Public Finance Management Act] show the lack of effective internal control systems and consequence management by departments and provinces.”

“This also shows a total disregard for the president’s [Cyril Ramaphosa] directive of November 2019 at the SA Investment Conference that organs of state should be closely monitored on their performance on 30-day payment, and that any non-compliance should be viewed as financial misconduct. The PFMA has enjoined accounting officers to enforce accountability,” said Gxoyiya.


Bongekile Macupe  

Senior Education Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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