Eastern Cape had R2,1bllion in outstanding invoices in 2018/19

Issued by Yusuf Cassim, MPL
Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism

The Eastern Cape was the second worst preforming province in terms of outstanding invoices older than 30 days in the 2018/19 financial year, owing suppliers in excess of R2,1 billion.

Statistics recently released by the Auditor General showed that the Eastern Cape had the second highest outstanding invoice total in the country, behind Gauteng which owed suppliers just under R2,6-billion.

This is a sad indictment on a province which has the highest expanded unemployment rate in the country.

Provincial Government Value of invoices older than 30 days
Financial year: 2018/2019
Gauteng Provincial Government R 2,594,175,217
Eastern Cape Provincial Government R 2,106,056,624
North West Provincial Government R 425,920,679
Northern Cape Provincial Government R 383,727,433
Free State Provincial Government R 363,567,669
Limpopo Provincial Government R 253,168,817
Mpumalanga Provincial Government R 251,872,232
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government R 149,830,770
Western Cape Provincial Government R 240,497
TOTAL R 6,528,559,938

Last week Premier Oscar Mabuyane, speaking at the launch of the Provincial Treasury App, Have I Been Paid app, announced that he wanted suppliers to be paid within 5 days. This is clearly a pipe-dream.

Based on the above report, the simple answer to the question on whether suppliers have been paid, would appear to be a resounding no!

It is no wonder the Premier expressed fears that one of these days an official is going to be shot by a supplier who has not been paid.

This is in sharp contrast to the DA-led Western Cape. In both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years, the Western Cape Government departments paid on average 99.4% of all invoices for goods and services within 30 days. 

Of the total outstanding value of invoices older than 30 days by provincial governments in the 2018/19 financial year, the Western Cape Government accounts for only 0.01%.

I will now be submitting parliamentary questions to the Premier to ask for a current financial breakdown, per department, on outstanding invoices older than 30 days. I will also be asking for clarity on what proactive steps have been taken by these departments to address non-payment.

It is simply unacceptable that the provincial government has developed a culture of delaying payment, especially in the current economic climate, and drastic steps need to be taken to address this.