Cogta in Gauteng owes R367m to 79 service providers dating back to 2014
Four service providers who did business with the Gauteng department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) are yet to be paid - years later.
The department owes a combined R61m to four service providers and owes R367m to 79 service providers dating back to 2014.
This was revealed by Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile in a written reply to a legislature question posed by DA MPL Solly Msimanga.
To this day, the department owes R3m to a single service provider for services delivered in 2014, while R82m is due to six businesses that did work for Gauteng Cogta in 2016.
Furthermore, 17 service providers are owed R34m for work they did in 2017, and the department has not paid R36m to 16 service providers for last year's work.
Maile said the bulk of the businesses owed money had provided security services to the department.
The department failed to pay the service providers because it "did not have enough funding to clear all of them," said Maile.
In addition, he said, there were disputes over some contracts the department entered into with service providers, hence the delayed payments.
He said none of those owed money had been liquidated because of the department, and he committed to settle all outstanding payments before the end of the current financial year.
"The department has established a payment task team to deal with all the accruals," said Maile.
Msimanga slammed Maile's department, saying many small businesses would have to close shop because of the culture of non-payment by government.
"Gauteng businesses that are doing business with this department will never survive as some have not yet been paid for services rendered since 2014," said Msimanga.
"This department is failing to adhere to the public finance management Act (PFMA), which states government departments are obliged to pay suppliers within 30 days of receipt of invoice.
"Furthermore, Gauteng premier David Makhura made a commitment ensuring that all service providers doing business with Gauteng provincial departments will be paid within 30 days. There is a need to support the growth of small enterprises but they are killing them by not paying them according to the stipulated timeframe."
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