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Lim Govt allegedly fails to pay close to R1 bn in outstanding invoices

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The issue of alleged failure by the Provincial Government to pay close to R1 billion in outstanding invoices in the first fiscal quarter as per the 30 days payment of invoices legislation requirements recently received high level attention.
This is according to a performance report on national and provincial departments presented to the portfolio committee on public service and administration in Parliament recently which highlights that the Rand value of invoices paid after the prescribed 30 days rule in the first quarter for 2018/19 financial year for Limpopo Provincial Government amounts to
R942 508 619 for 10 243 invoices for the first fiscal quarter (1 April to 30 June 2018).
The report goes on to reveal that the total number of misconduct cases for national departments for the quarter under review is 405 and of the 147 cases finalised, 126 were concluded within the 90 days period, 21 were dealt with outside 90 days and 258 cases are still pending. The total cost of precautionary suspensions for the national departments is R4 838 938 with 59 employees on precautionary suspension accounting for a total cost of R30 770 580 in the fourth quarter (1 January to 31 March 2018), it was learnt.
Common reasons provided in a report for the late or non-payment of invoices include misfiled, misplaced or unrecorded invoices, inadequate budget and internal capacity, poor internal controls and late authorisation of invoices.
Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister on Public Service and Administration, Desiree van der Walt stressed that the biggest concern was that the non-compliance with the rule has a huge impact on the economy, especially small businesses in Limpopo. The departments also do not ensure that employees who deals with payment of invoices are capable or monitored in order to ensure that invoices are dealt with promptly and paid within the requirements of the legislation, she stated.
Van der Walt further emphasised that disciplinary action needs to be tightened up against those who fail to comply with requirements of the legislation and those who undermine systems of internal controls – “We cannot afford the continuous downhill of our province’s economy and as a result of non-compliance with the legislature entrepreneurs are being forced to close businesses.”
A media enquiry was sent to Premier Stan Mathabatha’s spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha and Provincial Treasury Department spokesperson Sydwell Sibanda on Monday but no comment had been received at the time of going to print.

Story: ENDY SENYATSI
>>endy@observer.co.za