Despite pledging to improve payments to suppliers, the Gauteng Health Department is still not paying 80% within the legally required 30 days.
This information is revealed in the Department’s 4th Quarter Report, which was recently tabled in the Gauteng Legislature, and covers the period from January to March this year.
According to the report, only 5528 out of 26862 suppliers (20.6%) were paid within 30 days.
This poor outcome is blamed on “late resolving of payment exceptions … due to a variety of things such as invalid Purchase Order, Price/Quantity differences in invoices and issues between Treasury and Vendors which delay payments.”
Earlier this year it was disclosed that the department owed R3.1 billion to 42 519 suppliers.
Late payments are devastating for small businesses, some of which have to close or lay off workers.
Some companies are refusing to supply until they get paid, which is one of the reasons why hospitals have run out of basic food items for patients, including bread.
Patients suffer most with all these supply disruptions.
The new Head of Department Dr Nomonde Nolutshungu needs to speedily improve financial management so that all suppliers are paid timeously.