“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact and long-lasting effect on the economy of the country, businesses and many SMMEs [small, micro and medium-sized enterprises] and this has resulted in a growing rate of unemployment since some of the SMMEs were forced to close their businesses, which have [sic] led to many retrenchment of employees. To ensure that suppliers’ operations continue without strain, government institutions are urged to pay their suppliers on time and not contribute to the dire effects of the pandemic that is already putting strain on these suppliers to remain sustainable.”

The preceding apologetic passage comes from the annual report of the National Treasury, which tracks non-compliance by state departments and government agencies in applying the government’s policy that SMME suppliers should be paid within 30 days after submitting an invoice for work and services. ..

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