The DA calls on Gauteng Premier David Makhura to include the payment of suppliers within 30 days as key performance areas of provincial heads of departments without delay, giving credence to the Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s commitment to clean up government’s act and grow the provincial economy.
In his 2015/16 budget speech, Minister Nene admitted that non-payment of suppliers remains a perennial problem, and needs serious attention. This fact was highlighted by figures quoted by my colleague, Ashor Sarupen last week, when he pointed out that in January 2015 alone, Gauteng provincial departments had an outstanding amount of R618 million had still not been paid to suppliers within 30 days.
During the 2015/16 Gauteng provincial budget speech, finance MEC Barbara Creecy announced that government would increase its procurement from township businesses from 5% to 35%.
As welcome as the announcement is, emerging business owners would be at a severe disadvantage if they have to wait months before being paid, as they would not necessarily have the financial reserves to do continue functioning.
However, should government departments expand their business dealings with township businesses, and pay on time, Gauteng’s economy would get a welcome boost and potentially thousands of jobs could be created closer to where the majority of the province’s people live.
The DA believes that by amending the performance agreements of provincial heads of department with immediate effect, along with appropriate penalties for non-compliance, township and small business growth will boom.
This approach, coupled with an open and transparent procurement system, will stimulate open competition between businesses, keep prices down, improve service delivery, and in the long run, free up more funds for government to use and procure for other projects and programmes – all the while growing the economy and creating jobs
To this end, the DA will submit questions to the Premier asking whether his office has started the processes to amend departmental heads’ performance contracts, when they will be completed, when amendments will go into effect, and what the penalties (if any) would be should the 30-day payment performance target not be met.
We will also ask the premier what the timelines are for the complete opening up of government tender and procurement processes, and whether Gauteng will have its own tender portal similar to the one announced by Minister Nene.
Premier Makhura and his government are now at the point where they could make or break the opportunity to drive down poverty and unemployment in Gauteng.
Adriana Randall MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
060 556 4342[Image source]
March 8, 2015