23 national departments continue to fail to pay suppliers within 30 days

Commissioner Anele Gxoyiya of the The Public Service Commission (PSC). Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS.

Commissioner Anele Gxoyiya of the The Public Service Commission (PSC). Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS.

Published Mar 11, 2024


As many as 23 national departments across the country are continuing to fail dismally at complying with ensuring payment to service providers within 30 days.

In a briefing in Pretoria earlier today the Public Service Commission released its quarterly news bulletin titled “The Pulse of the public service”, covering the period between October 1 and December 31 last year.

Commissioner Anele Gxoyiya shared that the total number of invoices paid after the 30 days period by national departments amounted to 33 394 invoices to the value of R1 billion, whereas in the first quarter these departments recorded 26 223 invoices to the value of R1.2bn.

Out of 40 national departments, he said only 17 reportedly departments had fully complied with the national requirements in terms of paying on time, as compared to the first quarter, which saw only 15 being compliant.

The commissioner said this was worrying given that this number did not even represent 50% of the national departments, and although they could not specify the number of invoices and the value with the information at their disposal, partly due to delays with the National Treasury providing information required, it was still an area of huge concern.

“We encourage the departments to pay suppliers within 30 days as prescribed in the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Similarly, we also call on accounting officers to institute consequence management on those who fail to adhere to this policy directive.

“In the absence of accounting officers acting, we call on executive authorities to act on the accounting officers who fail to act.”

To make matters worse, the commissioner said instead of enforcing the law and ensuring that everyone else abided by the law, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development were the ones flouting the same provisions of the PFMA, as the main contributing department in terms of late payments of invoices.

“The total number of invoices paid by provinces after the 30 days amounted to 48 478 invoices amounting to R5.9bn, which is a huge amount of money. Although these invoices were paid, it should be noted that payment after the prescribed period is a huge problem.”

By province, the North West province had the highest number of invoices paid late, with as many 14 676 invoices to the value of R759 million.

It was followed by the Eastern Cape with 12 757 invoices valued at R 1.7bn.

Limpopo departments, however, led the pack, with the least number of invoices paid after a 30 days period, which amounted to R30m for 163 invoices.

“We don’t commend the departments in the province just yet, but we say there is room for improvement. Granted they paid them, but they paid them late. Non-payment or delays have a huge impact, particularly for small businesses, because in the absence of payments some are forced to close down and others end up taking loans just to stay afloat,” Gxoyiya stressed.

The Star