Government debt in unpaid business invoicse has increased since March, with provincial health departments the worst offenders, owing R9.5bn, says the Democratic Alliance.
Leon Schreiber, Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister for public Service and administration writes:
The DA can today reveal that the collapse of the South African public service’s ability to execute its most basic functions is accelerating. Two months ago, the DA reported that national and provincial governments owed businesses a combined R7.1bn in unpaid invoices older than 30 days at the end of March 2019. Today we can reveal that, in the span of only three months between April and June 2019, provincial governments have racked up an additional R4.3bn in debt that it failed to pay to the hardworking business people and workers of South Africa.
The only exception to this outright state of collapse is the DA-run Western Cape, which accounts for only 0.01% of outstanding debt. Because the DA views a flourishing private sector as the key to unlocking growth and prosperity, we make sure that we pay our suppliers on time. In contrast, it appears that the ANC is hellbent on collapsing the private sector, with ANC-led provinces like Gauteng and the Eastern Cape refusing to pay the close to R1.5bn and R1.8bn debt they each racked up in just three months – that is on top of the billions they still owed at the end of the last financial year.
In light of the ANC’s plan to eliminate private healthcare in favour of National Health Insurance (NHI), perhaps the most alarming fact of all is that in 7 out of the 8 collapsing ANC-led provinces, the department of health is the worst offender. On 30 March 2019, provincial health departments owed R5.8bn in unpaid invoices older than 30 days. Just three months later, they had racked up additional unpaid debt of R3.7bn.
This constitutes clear evidence that the public service is nowhere near equipped to run the R256bn NHI fund. The government cannot even ensure that the current public health sector pays providers and other contractors on time, yet they expect South Africans to put their lives in the hands of the same incompetent and corrupt cadres who cannot even process invoices.DA material