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DA: Govt's R7bn outstanding debt hampering economic growth, stability

The DA said national and provincial government was sitting on invoices worth more than R7 billion all of which were older than 30 days.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa gives a press conference at the Union Buildings on 21 July 2019 in Pretoria. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The nation's official opposition sounding alarms on the slow rate of payment by government on Sunday.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said there were outstanding invoices on government's books amounting to billions of rand and that's hampering economic growth and stability.

The DA said national and provincial government was sitting on invoices worth more than R7 billion all of which were older than 30 days.

Nationally, the Department of Water and Sanitation was the worst offender with R492 million in invoices that were yet to be paid.

The Agriculture Department owed businesses R99 million and the police R24 million.

The picture is even worse at a provincial level, the party said Gauteng and the Eastern Cape alone owed service providers upwards of R4.7 billion.

In a statement released on Sunday, the party took aim at government's management of the public service accusing it of being quick to sign off on payments for civil servants moonlighting as government service providers

It said that between April 2017 and January 2018 last year, it paid out R8.1 billion to such service providers and it has yet to hold any of them to account for their violation of the Public Administration Management Act.