by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
The Gauteng Health Department is the top offender when it comes to not paying suppliers within 30 days.
This information is contained in a report by the National Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
According to media reports, national and provincial government departments have failed to pay their suppliers, with 93 000 invoices amounting to more than R7 billion. Of these invoices the Gauteng Health Department accounted for 58 597 that have been unpaid for over 30 days.
The Gauteng government has admitted that because of the serious cash flow problems experienced by the Health Department, they are not able to pay suppliers within 30 days.
Earlier this year the department paid all invoices below R10 million and entered into agreements with creditors whom they owed more than R10 million.
This department is a major job destroyer as many small firms have been forced to close because they have not been paid.
Meanwhile, the department has wasted money such as R165 million paid to two law firms.
The serious cash flow problems experienced are due to deeply rooted managerial failures that need to be fixed.
The department has never recovered from the massive corruption that flourished when Brian Hlongwa was Health MEC from 2006 to 2009, for which there is yet to be full accountability.
It is unacceptable that suppliers who provide an essential service to the department are not being paid on time.
I have tabled questions to the MEC for Health, Gwen Ramokgopa to ascertain which suppliers are still waiting for payment and what plans they have in place to ensure that this does not happen in the future.