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Thread: Hotline for government payments

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Hotline for government payments

    Is your business not getting paid fast enough by government? Now SMMEs can call the slow payment hotline.
    Launching the small, micro, medium enterprises hotline in Pretoria, Davies said many companies were forced to wait more than 90 days for payment by public entities, despite the Public Finance Management Act requiring that they pay in 30 days.

    "We do not know the impact of the crisis on small businesses, but we know it's profound," he said.

    While access to government procurements was competitive, experience had shown that dealing with the state came hand in hand with late or non-payments.

    Davies said the hotline would quantify and identify the extent of the problem.
    full story from M&G here
    The hotline number is 0860 SMMEPAY (0860 766 3729). It will operate from 6am until 6pm on weekdays
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Well, the day arrived when I decided to give this a whirl myself.

    The call was answered promptly.
    The person answering the call was helpful and understanding, although ultimately her role is to get your contact details so that she can send you a form.
    The form (a fairly simple one pager) was faxed through within minutes.

    At one form per outstanding invoice, I decide to focus on one particular contract with the highest value overdue (4 invoices overdue - for the record the full collection of invoices overdue from this particular department is 32, and some of them are over a year old).
    Faxed off the form, along with some supporting documentation and information not asked for in the form (but I felt was relevant).

    I had a call within an hour at most from the person capturing the "complaints" to clarify some of the details (i.e. translate my handwriting for the most part).
    Again, pleasant and helpful.
    I received an SMS for each registered unpaid invoice complaint within half an hour after the call at most.

    Of course I was also full of questions as to how things normally proceed. And in the end it was this aspect of the conversation that I found was cause for a little concern about this service.

    So far I do get a sense that from SEDA's side, the service is efficient and the process will be followed through promptly and diligently.
    However, my understanding gathered between the two conversations is they're pretty good at getting to the bottom of what the problem is. Making sure you actually receive the payments due to you promptly is another matter completely.

    I'll be sure to report back here on how it goes with this service in the end, but at this point:
    If the reason you haven't been paid is some sort of processing problem, by all means give them a whirl.
    If it's a case that the department concerned simply doesn't have the funds to honour their financial commitments (as seems to apply in this case) - I have serious reservations as to whether they can do anything about it.

    Hence my decision to pursue the Presidential Hotline as well.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Mike C (23-Apr-13)

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