Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has threatened to charge government departments and institutions that do not pay suppliers on time with financial misconduct — a move that could be a major boost for small business. The clampdown begins in earnest early next week. Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane will issue directives instructing departments and institutions to pay suppliers timeously, Gigaba said. This must be monitored by accounting officers, and the Treasury will strengthen oversight mechanisms, he added. The government envisages small business to be the growth engine of the economy. The National Development Plan targets a 90% contribution to GDP from small and medium enterprises by 2030. A senior Treasury official told Business Day that late payments of suppliers had become "very severe" and was prevalent "all over" the country, across national, provincial and local tiers of government. This was difficult to manage in large departments such as the police which have decentra...

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