Impact of unpaid or late invoices on small businesses a huge concern
Public Service Commission worried about strain on struggling enterprises
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has flagged inadequate disclosure of information on supplier payments by the National Treasury as cause for concern.
This as the PSC said it had referred 373 complaints to departments and public bodies for investigation in the quarter to end-June.
These include complaints of alleged corruption, unethical behaviour, late payment of suppliers, identity document fraud, illegal immigration, appointment and procurement irregularities, nepotism, fraud, bribery and maladministration.
The commission’s Anele Gxoyiya told a briefing on Wednesday that 318 cases were opened against public bodies, 48 against national departments and seven in the provinces.
“I must indicate that concerns about the non-release of information on the payment of service providers are quite high on our side as the public commission, because we are of the view that these service providers use the services that they deliver to the government to support their families," he said.
“Some of the small businesses, when they get these contracts, take loans to deliver the services. The longer they are not paid after delivering the services, the longer the interest is accrued on their loans. Some of [these] businesses have even collapsed, and could not rise again, as a result of nonpayment."
Gxoyiya said the commission will continue to engage the Treasury to submit suppliers' payment information in the interest of transparency.
He encouraged small businesses whose invoices have not been paid by various state institutions within 30 days to approach the offices of the PSC countrywide for assistance.
The entity, which oversees the efficiency of the public service, said it had also registered 184 grievances, including 114 carried over from the previous financial year.
"Of the 184 grievances, 24 (13%) were not properly referred." He explained that grievances which were not properly referred are those that were either being dealt with elsewhere (such as bargaining councils) or those that were still not finalised at departmental level.
"Of the 160 grievances that were properly referred to the PSC, about 95% are referred by employees, while 5% are referred by EAs [executive authorities]," said Gxoyiya.
He said the referral of grievances by employees is an indication that departments have failed to resolve grievances internally within the prescribed timeframes.
"Irrespective of whether the referral is by the EAs or aggrieved employees, the 160 properly referred grievances are dealt with through investigation and/or mediation."
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