South Africa: Late Payment of Invoices By Delinquent Departments Makes a Mockery of Our Democracy

opinion

The accounting officers of government departments who fail to settle invoices timeously must pay the price for adding stress to small businesses and letting our country down.

The scourge of late payment has become rampant. Almost 3,000 invoices older than 30 days were not yet paid at the beginning of the 2019/20 financial year, amounting to R1.1-billion.

These invoices were not paid for the six months of April to September 2019. This is a shame and a shocking horror. In fact, it is criminal and must be treated as such. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The chief culprits were the departments of Water and Sanitation as well as Public Works, with 488 unpaid invoices worth R851.4-million and 266 unpaid invoices worth R235.8-million, respectively.

When naming and shaming is no longer the most effective way of hoping to self-correct and remedy the situation, what stick do you use to deal with these delinquent departments and what remedial options are available to affected and distressed small businesses?

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