Public Works employees' performance to be measured against payments within 30 days

Mthatha – Employees of the national Department of Public Works will now be measured against the payment of contractors within 30 days.

This was the assurance of Public Works Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko during his visit to the Eastern Cape and engagement with contractors in Mthatha on Friday.

"It cannot be optional but must be part of annual performance assessment review because it is a serious matter that is a huge pressure point to small and emerging enterprises," said Nhleko in response to issues raised by the Eastern Cape Business Forum, Eastern Cape Contractors Association and individual contractors.

According to a press statement, Nhleko acknowledged that there is a need for procurement systems to be integrated to minimise exclusion and awarding of tenders to one and the same companies.

In response to concerns that the sector is not ready for procurement reforms that are being implemented to advance, accelerate and deepen transformation, Nhleko committed to the rollout of information sessions by supply chain practitioners to clarify how the 30% set aside for contractors from historically marginalised contractors is being implemented.

"Regional departmental management teams must hold bi-monthly structured engagement with contractor associations and forums to address non-payment concerns as well as brief them about development programmes," he said.

He said that radical economic transformation must be deliberate and driven with commitment.

"Our historic mission remains development of black people and Africans in particular. It is informed by the broader political commitment to improve the lives of our people," Nhleko said.

Contractors called for user-friendly tender documents in at least one of the dominant indigenous official languages used in a province and for a review of rates for day-to-day maintenance and emergency repairs.