Minister Patricia De Lille has appealed to all departments to pay timeously for rental accommodation provided by her department. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille has appealed to all departments and entities to pay timeously for rental accommodation provided by her department because it is causing cash flow problems.

This as her department is owed R866 183 092 in rental for private leases and R596 077 088 in state-owned accommodation.

"If we want communities to pay their bills, then, government must lead by example," De Lille said in a written response to a parliamentary question from Freedom Front Plus MP Philippus van Staden.

Van Staden had enquired whether there were any departments that have outstanding rental payments for accommodation provided by her department and measures put in place to collect the outstanding debt from the departments that were in arrears.

"Yes, in the course of its operations, and given its operating model as approved by the National Treasury of incurring expenditure and claiming it from client departments, there are government departments that have outstanding rental payments for accommodation provided by the department," De Lille said.

She revealed that the departments owed R866 183 092 in rental payments for private leases and R596 077 088 in state-owned accommodation.

De Lille said her department has intensified its debt recovery management.

This entailed holding meetings with government departments to resolve all outstanding balances and letters of demand were issued to defaulting departments on a monthly basis.

Letters were also issued to the ministers of defaulting departments and a billing agreement has been developed to address billing in advance.

She said interest was charged on all outstanding debts and that National Treasury intervention was requested if the defaulting departments did not comply.

"The department will request National Treasury to withhold allocation of funds for those defaulting departments after all recovery efforts have been exhausted," she added.

Political Bureau