Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.  File picture: Siyasanga Mbambani/DoC
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. File picture: Siyasanga Mbambani/DoC

Human Settlements struggling to pay service providers in time

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published Jul 4, 2017

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PARLIAMENT - Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says her department is still struggling to pay service providers within the stipulated timeframe of 30 days.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question from the DA’s Mbulelo Bara, Sisulu revealed that a total of R896.4million was owed to contractors, who were not paid a combined 1085 invoices as at May.

“We are grappling with the issue of paying suppliers’ invoices within 30 days. The challenges remain - and are multi-faceted,” Sisulu said.

KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape were not behind with payments to contractors.

Gauteng was leading the provinces with outstanding payment of invoices totalling R597m, followed by the Eastern Cape which owed R176m and Free State R122m.

North West had not paid invoices totalling R5.4m, Mpumalanga R4.4m and Limpopo R529 631.

Sisulu said the reasons provided by the provinces for the late payment ­varied from late submission of invoices to verification of information.

“Sometimes the required details for new suppliers are not always available in the financial system to facilitate payments due to inadequate completion of the registration forms by suppliers,” she said.

The Eastern Cape blamed non-payment on the “shrinkage” of the equitable share due to commitments and top slicing of its budget in the beginning of the 2017-18 year.

Inadequate funds to pay contractors from the first tranche of housing grants was also blamed.

“The Eastern Cape is attending to its cash flow problems and it is hoped that this matter will be resolved soon,” Sisulu said.

The Free State had not been paying contractors within the 30-day timeframe due to insufficient funds being available to fund its commitments. “Free State has commenced honouring these claims in the 2017-18 financial year, as funding is disbursed from the National Department of Human Settlements. As of May 24, an amount of R44m was still outstanding for payment, which will be settled soon,” Sisulu said.

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