Gauteng businesses continue to suffer from late payments as Gauteng Health Department only paid 19% of invoices within 15 days

Gauteng small businesses that provide services to the Department of Health in the province have to wait extremely long before they are paid. This means that they may potentially struggle to pay their employees on time because of this delay.

This information was revealed to me by the MEC for Health, Nomathemba Mokgethi, in reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) regarding the payment of invoices.

Out of 122 018 invoices received for the 2021/2022 financial year, only 22 794 were paid within 15 days, and 99 227 were paid out of 15 days. 62 235 invoices were paid out of 30 days.

This has resulted in R1 510 582,28 being paid in penalties due to the late payment of invoices to FNB (Medico-Legal Litigations), Telkom, Eskom, and EMS (Standard Bank).

The late payments of invoices put the delivery of services at risk, as suppliers may withhold their services until they are paid in full.

Given the current load shedding crisis where many small businesses may be unable to trade for between 4 to 6 hours daily, the late payment of invoices by the Gauteng Department of Health is an added burden in their attempts to keep their businesses afloat.

The DA will be putting pressure on all government departments to pay suppliers within 15 days, as is the current practice in the Western Cape. This will allow departments to negotiate an early settlement discount, and they will avoid paying an exorbitant amount in penalties.

Thousands of jobs on the line as Gauteng businesses lose a third of their revenue during load-shedding

Many businesses in Gauteng are suffering major financial losses because of the latest round of rolling blackouts implemented by Eskom across the country. 

Currently, stage 5 load-shedding is underway, which means that some businesses will be without electricity for at least 8 hours a day. This is a full workday, which means that businesses are only able to trade for a few hours at a time. 

There are at least 2 515 000 unemployed Gauteng residents, and this number is expected to increase by the end of the year because of load-shedding. 

According to some businesses the DA interacted with this week, they have lost about a third of their revenue which is not enough for them to be profitable over the last four days alone. 

No electricity means no trade, which in turn means that businesses are unable to break even so that they can at least pay their employees’ salaries on time. If the current electricity situation continues, both big and small businesses may be forced to retrench staff in a bid to keep their heads above water. 

The only solution to this situation is the political will to decrease the province’s reliance on Eskom by making use of Independent Power Producers (IPPs). 

We as the DA are proposing that Premier David Makhura and the relevant MEC engage with independent power producers in the province to help find a lasting solution.

The Gauteng government must go against the grain as set by the failing National government and do all that it can to ensure that we save jobs and ignite new energy into the economy, by providing uninterrupted, reliable electricity to residents and businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gauteng economy suffers as the bulk of Gauteng Provincial Treasury’s budget is spent on consultants

Gauteng township entrepreneurs continue to struggle to make ends meet and sustain their businesses in the current economic climate.

Despite signing the Gauteng Township Economic Development Act into law earlier this year, the Gauteng Provincial Treasury is only spending 9% of its budget on the township economy, while the rest is used to pay for consultants.

This information was revealed in a recent Finance Portfolio Committee meeting where the first quarter report for the 2022/2023 financial year was discussed. At this meeting, it emerged that over R4 million is currently being spent on consultants per quarter.

The following consultants were used by the department:

NAME OF CONSULTANTS SERVICES AMOUNTS
A2A KOPANO, Pretoria Probity Audit 194,925.00
ATLARELA CONSULTING, Soweto Translations 58,084.05
Auditor-General of South Africa – N, Pretoria Auditor General 464,137.70
BIG BUSINESS INNOVATIONS GROUP External Audits 40,337.75
Bioss Southern Africa, Bedfordview Competency assessment 25,323.00
RAKOMA AND ASSOCIATES, East London Probity Audit 347,207.00
SAB AND T CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS, Centurion Probity Audit / External Service 792,320.91
SEANEGO ATTORNEYS, Midrand Legal services 392,504.78
SIZWENTSALUBAGOBODO GRANT THORNTON, City of Johannesburg NU Probity Audit / External Service 1,247,317.00
South African Institute of Professional Accountants, Riviera SAIPA Learnership 206,413.00
TIC AND MEND TiC & Mend Pty Ltd, Rustenburg Probity Audit 532,600.00
Treetops Management & Development Consultant (Pty) Ltd, Raslouw Competency assessment 16,882.00
WOLTERS KLUWER TAX AND ACCOUNTING S, Sandton Audit Management software 558,461.31
TOTAL 4,876,513.50

What is even more worrying is the fact that some of the consultants used are not even based in Gauteng.

This large amount of money that has been spent on consultants is concerning as very little of the budget is left to spend on boosting the township economy.

The DA will be putting pressure on the department to spend more money on the township economy and entrepreneurs as this is the only way we can boost investment in these areas. In addition, we will also push for the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the Department to include higher levels of departmental spending on the township economy. Senior officials in the department can then be held to account if they fail to do so.

The DA also proposes that the department should consider using in-house officials that are hired to do the job instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money on consultants. This will help to save costs and leave more money available to spend on investing in the township economy.

National Treasury adopts DA’s proposal that will put an end to the looting of disaster relief funds

Through the hard work of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Gauteng residents will now be afforded additional protection from potential looters should we experience another disaster like the Covid-19 pandemic. During the last two years, this province has been hardest hit by the looting of Covid-19 relief funds and the enrichment of only a few individuals through the awarding of tenders for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Many of the DA’s recommendations tabled during the negotiation mandate relating to the Division of Revenue Bill (DORA) during a recent Finance Portfolio Committee were accepted. This bill governs the transfer of funds to Provincial Governments and Municipalities.

One of the main recommendations made by the DA was that National Treasury (NT) should develop mechanisms to ensure that funds earmarked for Covid-19 and disaster relief are expended for their intended purpose. We are delighted that the NT has now introduced a manual reporting system to monitor how Covid-19 funds are spent and the requirement to submit a weekly report.

This will result in transparency and accountability on how the relief funds are being spent. By so doing, there will be no room for corruption, and this will allow proper service delivery to take place.

The DA will continue to monitor the progress in terms of the implementation of our recommendations as this will help to improve the quality of life of our residents and ensure that they see the benefits of investment by the state rather than the money being lost to corruption and waste.

Loadshedding has left 122500 Gauteng citizens without jobs

It is deeply worrying that the Gauteng Provincial Government is unable to track the exact impact that loadshedding has had on the province.

This revelation comes just as the country is hit by another round of loadshedding that will once again not only impact our residents negatively but also businesses which rely on electricity to continue production or trade.

While loadshedding has been with us for many years, its impact over the past two years has been particularly marked due to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only have businesses been struggling with reduced revenues during the pandemic, but continued blackouts have caused even greater revenue loss.

According to a reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) regarding the impact loadshedding has had specifically on Gauteng, MEC Parks Tau explained that disruptions to operations caused by loadshedding have meant that businesses have had to work under unpredictable and unstable conditions.

In turn, workers lose working hours which has a direct impact on business productivity. Not only are the hours lost and unproductive but employees still need to be paid for those hours not worked. This is coupled with higher operating costs due to mitigating measures that need to be put into place such as the installation and operation of generators. In many instances, these additional unforeseen costs can be crippling to a business and can be the final straw causing the business to close.

The MEC has also indicated that an estimated 122500 jobs have been lost due to Eskom’s continued loadshedding. This revelation about the shockingly high level of job losses amongst Gauteng residents comes off the back of a Statistics SA (Stats SA) announcement that 2162000 residents are unemployed in Gauteng.

While the MEC was able to give a detailed response about the national impact the blackouts have had on the economy over the last two years, it is critical that as a province we can track exactly how many businesses have been forced to close their doors because of government’s poor planning.

Many industries in the province and particularly small businesses rely on Eskom to ensure that there is a constant supply of electricity. In many instances not only do businesses and our residents have to contend with loadshedding but also load reduction.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently been on a round of investment roadshows both locally and internationally in an attempt to entice investors to invest in South Africa. A regular efficient supply of electricity is one of the basic factors that investors would require before they commit large amounts of capital to South Africa.

Where we govern in the Western Cape, the City of Cape Town has already published documents to become independent of Eskom and utilise Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The DA will work hard to promote the proliferation of IPPs in Gauteng to reduce the reliance on Eskom supplying electricity in the province. The DA will push, through all means available to it, for the Gauteng government to offer incentives for IPPS to set up power generation in the province and reduce reliance on Eskom and the dire impact it has on its economy.

DA To Test The Effectiveness Of The Public Transport System In The City Of Johannesburg

Today, Friday 15 July, DA Johannesburg Mayoral Candidate, Herman Mashaba, will put the public transport system in Johannesburg to the test.

Five teams of volunteers will use different modes of transport to get to Orange Farm and at the end point, Mr Mashaba, will deliver his plans on how to turn the system around so that we have an effective and safe public transport system in the city.

These teams will be led by the DA Gauteng Leader, John Moodey MPL, DA Chief Whip in the Gauteng Legislature, Mike Moriarty MPL, DA Johannesburg Regional Leader, Khume Ramulifho MPL, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Health, Henrich Volmink MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Patrick Atkinson MP.

Transport is the engine of the economy as the majority of Joburg citizens rely on it to get to work and school.

The DA is serious about job creation in the city because if Johannesburg works, South Africa works.

Date: Friday 15 July

Time: 10h30

Meeting place: KFC, Eyethu Mall, corner of Link Street and Palm Street, Orange Farm

There will be ample opportunity for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are invited.

 

Media enquiries:

Nkele Molapo

Media Officer

072 041 4842