The Public Service Commission (PSC) on Wednesday said the Eastern Cape province failed to pay 24,000 invoices valued at R2 billion in March.
Two departments, public works and water sanitation are failing to also to pay suppliers on time.
The commission presented its quarterly bulletin for January to March, saying delays have put many small and medium enterprises under pressure especially due to the lockdown.
PSC commissioner Michael Seloane said water and sanitation department owed suppliers half a billion rand.
While public works department was behind on payments of R100 million: “The departments of public works and water and sanitation continued to default with 173 and 137 invoices [respectively] older than 30 days and not paid.”
The PSC said it was concerned by failure of some departments to put effective systems in place to ensure that suppliers are paid in time.
But Seloane said at the end of March, the Eastern Cape hadn’t paid 24,000 invoices worth R2 billion.
“The Eastern Cape, North West, Gauteng and Northern Cape remain repeat defaulters in the non-payment of suppliers.”
Gauteng comes second in terms of the overall total owed with half a billion rand in delayed payments
The Northern Cape has the second-highest number of owing invoices at nearly 7,000.
SASSA FRAUD-RELATED ARRESTS
The PSC said during the lockdown, seven suspects were arrested in Tshwane with 91 South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards and R191,000 in cash.
It handled 806 grievances and said most of them were concluded in the prescribed time frame of 30 to 45 days.
Most of the grievances were about unfair treatment, including sexual harassment, irregular appointments, procurement, bribery, fraud and abuse of government equipment.
More than 400 of those were allegations of corruption.
Seloane explained: “One male and female were found in possession of 61 Sassa cards, including cash amounting to R110,070.00 that they could not account for. A total of 91 Sassa cards and cash amounting to R1,671 were seized from the seven arrested suspects.”