Public works department clears backlog of unpaid bills


Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia from Lille reports that “significant progress” has been made by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) on the payment of unpaid invoices from its suppliers, with invoices outstanding for more than 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and 120 days being draws on February 15.

She made the remarks following a parliamentary question on unpaid invoices to suppliers.

The DPWI and the Property Management Trading Entity (PMTE), which also reports to the DPWI, process and settle on average between 858 and 11,300 invoices per month.

Prior to implementing its Reapatala tracking system, DPWI had over 11,500 30-day unpaid invoices.

The Reapatala system is a platform where all department invoices are received and managed internally to ensure effective tracking of invoices to be paid on time.

As part of a series of efforts to ensure that the DPWI pays service providers on time and reduces payment delays, weekly meetings with its regional offices and regular interventions by De Lille, through the reports Reapatala, resulted in no unpaid bills for DPWI and PMTE.

De Lille says the issue of late payments was one of the main issues she tackled when she took office in June 2019. At the time, there were 2,084 late payments per week at the beyond the stipulated payment period of 30 days.

In February, the total amount of bills paid by the DPWI amounted to R874 million, while lease payments made in the same month amounted to R375 million. Therefore, the total paid for invoices and leases for the month of February by the DPWI was R1.2 billion.

The department has also instituted consequence management for public servants found responsible for late payments without just cause. The number of consequence management processes put in place totaled 166 bills, involving 180 officials between April 2021 and February 28 this year.


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