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Govt warned of killing small businesses by not paying on time

Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshaveni revealed that government departments owe service providers over R600 million and are 30 days or more behind on their payments.

Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Government has once again been warned that its slowly but surely killing small businesses with its failure to pay the enterprises on time.

Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni revealed that government departments owe service providers over R600 million and are 30 days or more behind on their payments.

The worst departments are water and sanitation, agriculture, and the police.

Government is always talking about how important small businesses are to the growth of the economy, especially now with unemployment at 29%.

So, it’s shocking that even with awareness, government departments are still failing to pay service providers, especially emerging businesses, on time.

John Dludlu from the Small Business Institute said: “This is a slow killer for businesses.”

Previously, government promised that its departments and institutions that fail to pay suppliers on time would be charged with financial misconduct.

But Fin24 reported that the latest figures from the small business development show that a total of 70,000 invoices to the value of R4.3 billion were unpaid.

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