The Eastern Cape provincial government had failed to pay 6 478 suppliers to whom it owed money in excess of 90 days, as at 31 December 2016, totalling a staggering R169-million, according to a reply to a legislature question I asked. For the reply, click here: Reply to IQP 40 q 267
This government should focus on radical economic payment instead of monopolising provincial capital to the detriment of businesses that are owed money. If we want to get the economy of the Eastern Cape moving, we need to dump the rhetoric and get down to real action.
No business can survive if it is not paid on time for its services. In a province where projected growth for the year was a dismal 0.7% prior to the ratings downgrades to junk status, non-payment by the government is unacceptable. These actions by the government lead to staff layoffs and businesses going under.
According to the reply, provincial departments owed a total of 1 851 supplies R50,5-miilion in excess of 30 days, another 926 suppliers were owed R23,2-million in excess of 60 days, and a further 6 478 suppliers were owed R169,8-million in excess of 90 days, as at 31 December last year.
In the current fragile economic climate, it is imperative that businesses are paid on time. Both the Premier, Phumulo Masualle, and MEC Somyo must do more than pay mere lip service in their annual policy speeches, stating the government will pay within the allowed 30 days.
We need serious political will to ensure that we keep the economy of this province moving forward instead of strangling it by non-payment.
Good governance and economic growth are linked. Under a DA-government this province will work for all the people. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Shadow MEC for Finance