Cape Town - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said on Tuesday her department has made a huge improvement with the 30-days payment of service providers.
Speaking during the department’s budget vote, De Lille said the compliance rate for the financial year ended in March stood at 97%, up from 95% in the prior financial year.
“The department will continue to improve with consequences management being implemented for employees not complying with the processing of the payments within 30 days.
“So far 75 cases of contract and consequence management for late payments have been instituted against officials since the last financial year to date,” she said.
De LiIle also said the user departments owed her department around R8.3 billion as of the end of March, with at least more than 60% of the amount related to old claims for previous years.
The department invoiced R21.5 billion to client departments, of which R18.4 billion was recovered in 2021/22.
She said late reimbursements affected her department’s ability to provide quality services and settle invoices to service providers and municipalities.
The minister also said her department owed municipalities R502 million in March, and R337 million of the amount was paid during last month.
“The remaining R165 million is still being processed for payment by the department,” she said.
De Lille said her department has made payments across all 257 municipalities to the value of R5 billion during the 2021/22 financial year.
“The department continues to engage the municipalities for disputes over property ownership, incorrect billings, incorrect interest charged, invoices not submitted, and payments not allocated by the municipalities,” she said.
According to De Lille, the matter of asset register was no longer an issue in the department.
The department has obtained an audit query on the matter over the years.
The minister said Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke acknowledged a major improvement with respect to the valuation of immovable assets and classification of assets under construction.
“It is worth noting that the immovable asset register was unqualified for the 2020/21 financial year. The department is in the process of implementing a programme to digitise the immovable asset register, which includes the creation and maintenance of a single repository,” she said.