"Everyone knows South Africans don't pay!"
This is a statement by my IP attorney in regards to his requirements for up-front payments for IP work & filings. I chuckled when he said this, as past experience in my earlier years in SA had confirmed this fact. I always pay cash upfront where appropriate, or on a progressive-release basis.
Fast forward to my latest adventures in SA business.
I take on a project for an industry association with a solid, historical membership. With these kinds of clients, they are generally expected to pay on time, with an invoice with 'payment on demand' terms. First payment had a few grumbles while the direct banking setup was engaged - so I was informed. Second payment was reasonable - took around 6 days to clear. Bear in mind, these are online payments.
Third payment: Payment officer sick from 20 Oct to 4 Nov with a minor illness. Promises made for payment on 4 Nov - nothing forthcoming. Officer notified per phone, promises payment today. Payment did thankfully make it, along with a very curt notice.
At each step of the process, the invoices had been accepted & compliments paid in regards to the performance delivery. What to make of the whole affair? Bear in mind that I had not received this kind of issue in my many years of working abroad, in various countries.
South Africans don't pay!
This is a cultural issue, I'm sure. All future work will be performed with up-front payment structures in place. I am not a banker, nor do I have the time to chase down payments. I give the folks good rates & endeavour to perform above guaranteed deliverables. I'm happy to take on work & work my butt off - but, I expect to be paid accordingly.
A rude awakening - South Africans don't pay!