Johannesburg - Incorrect banking details, poor quality of
work and tax clearance delays are often behind late payments by the state to
suppliers, a senior official said on Friday.
"The majority of suppliers who are not paid within the
30-day period is because of the incorrect banking details given to the
departments," public works chief director Juanita Prinsloo said in
"Suppliers also change banks and do not notify the
department, which creates a problem when payment has to be made."
Prinsloo was speaking during public hearings hosted by the
Public Service Commission on the government’s compliance with the 30-day
payment period of service providers in Pretoria.
She said sometimes the bank accounts of small suppliers were
found to have been closed without their knowledge.
This happened because they provided service to the state
only once in a while.
Prinsloo said another hurdle in paying suppliers on time was
that work completed first had to be certified by a department official.
"In the Northern Cape, officials have had to travel 1
500km to go and certify the work that had been done. That is also another
Prinsloo said her department had set up a call centre to
reduce the backlog in payment of invoices received.
The department of public works received 5 400 invoices in
the first six months of the year. Four percent of the invoices had not been
paid within the 30-day period.
Semphete Thobejane, chief financial officer at Stats SA,
said the quality of the work done by businesses was also an issue.
"Sometimes, the quality of the work that has been done
by the supplier does not meet the requirements that were agreed upon; that also
can cause delays."
Other reasons for late payment presented during the hearing
included the absence of officers who were supposed to authorise payments
because they were on leave.
In some instances there was also no budget for payments.