If the government wants radical economic transformation, a good place to start would be to pay its suppliers on time, says Julius Mojapelo, senior executive for the public sector at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.According to the institute's SMME survey for 2016, 80% of small and medium businesses refuse to do business with government at any level because of late or nonpayment of bills and excessive red tape."Government is one of the biggest spenders in South Africa," says Mojapelo. "Their capacity to transform the economy is much higher than that of many corporates. "So if government can just start paying SMEs on time, you can imagine the huge impact that would have ... Radical economic transformation. Start paying on time."The average turnover of small businesses is R10.9-million. A third of them employ between six and 49 people. According to the National Development Plan, they're the country's best hope of reducing unemployment and poverty and boosting GDP...

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