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Have I Been Paid App to help ensure suppliers are paid: Mabuyane

Oct 18, 2019
Have I Been Paid App to help ensure suppliers are paid: Mabuyane

East London - Eastern Cape Premier, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, on Thursday could not hide his excitement at the launch of an app to track the invoices of SMMEs in the province -  dubbed the 'Have I Been Paid App' in East London.  

"PT team, you have made my day, special thank you goes to  Fezile, Mbasa, Jacques, James and Nombuthuma from DGITO," said Premier Mabuyane.

"My gratitude goes to the MEC for upward delegating me to come and launch Have I Been Paid App for invoice tracking to fastrack payment of Suppliers.

"...we are here to launch the invoice tracking system that we committed to develop for our SMMEs in the State of the Province Address. I think we are the first Province to have it in South Africa. I haven’t  heard anyone saying they have a system of this nature in the country.

"On this one, we are leading, others will follow."

Premier Mabuyane said that the Eastern Cape provincial Government was driven to develop this system by its conviction to have a vibrant SMME sector across the province "as it is critical to our ambitions of reducing unemployment in our province".

"One of the bottlenecks that are affecting our SMMEs is late payment of invoices by government departments," the Premier said.

"A few weeks ago, the Minister of Small Business Development Hon. Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, revealed that national government departments owe service providers over R600 million and are 30 days or more behind in their payments.

"This is also the case here in our province. There has been a constant outcry about the late payment of SMMEs in all the three spheres of government.

"We then decided enough is enough, something must be done to address this challenge because SMMEs are closing down and many people are losing their jobs."

Have I Been Paid App helps ensure SMMEs and suppliers are paid

The Premier added that the National Public Service Commissioner, Michael Seloane, correctly remarked recently that government's failure to pay its suppliers is damaging the economy.

"This is even more so when we take into account the fact that suppliers of goods and services to government are SMMEs and they do not have the luxury of huge cash flow reserves to keep them afloat when they are not paid what is due to them on time by government departments," he described. 

"Today, I am proud to say we are launching a new system that has been developed by an in-house team of government ICT Specialists that will assist SMMEs to monitor the processing of their invoices.

"We have named this new system HIBP which stands for HAVE I BEEN PAID and it will contribute towards washing away the sins of not paying SMMEs on time by government departments. Oh what a happy day it is today. 

"The sad thing about the late payment of suppliers is that there has never been a concrete explanation for the escalating cases of non-payment of SMMEs on time in our province and it is clear that this is a deliberate act that has been left to go on unabated to such an extent that it has become a norm in government departments."

The Premier said that the prescripts of our country say suppliers must be paid within 30 days of submitting invoices and failure to do so is misconduct.

"Thanks to the fourth industrial revolution, this new system is going to point us to where the problem is in our administration and we expect Heads of Departments to enforce accountability.  

"We have heard numerous stories about the causes of delays for payment of suppliers, and these include corruption in the form of release fees that are allegedly demanded by government officials to process supplier payments. With this system, we will be able to see officials who are taking too long to process invoices and they will have to explain themselves," he said. 

"We are committed to run a clean and corrupt free sixth administration and SMMEs themselves should not pay any form of bribes to fast track the payment of their invoices. I know some SMMEs are in the habit of buying lunch for officials that are processing payments in the hope that they will process their payments faster.

"This must stop, government officials are employed to do their work and they get paid for doing their work every month. Our SMMEs should never feel obliged to pay officials for doing their work."

Have I Been Paid App being piloted at Health, Provincial Treasury and the DSRAC 

Premier Mabuyane added: "We are piloting this invoice tracking system in the departments of Health, Provincial Treasury and the DSRAC in the current financial year to assist suppliers to track the status of their payments. The system is linked to LOGIS and will only recognize official issued government Orders. We know that at times people do work without having authorized Orders. 

"This system will promote transparency by pick up such instances and they will be followed up with the responsible personnel. Suppliers must do work for government only when they have been issued with an Order to do so, not based on some verbal arrangement with officials."

Mabuyane urged suppliers to make good use of this system as it will save them time and money for physically visiting government offices to check their payments.

"With this system we are putting our SMMEs in charge of tracking their payments. We must work together to perfect and improve it to be a highly efficient system."

Image: Eastern Cape Premier Lubabalo Mabuyane, Provincial Treasury’s  Web master Fezile Moyana, Head of Department Daluhlanga Majeke and Software Programmer Mbasa Mabi show off the new Invoice Tracker App launched in East London yesterday. Developed by Mabi and Moyana, the App, which is called Have I been Paid, will allow speed up payment of supplier invoices by the provincial government within the 30 day period. Pic by Mandla Nduna/ECOTP

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