GOVERNMENT’s failure to pay food suppliers on time has contributed to the slow growth of their businesses, says Goods and Services Suppliers Association (GSSA) president Blackson Singoyi.
Mr Singoyi said in an interview that the failure by Government to pay suppliers promptly had greatly contributed to the slow pace at which their businesses were progressing.
“We would also like the issue of outstanding bills to be tackled in 2016 once and for all so that there could be sanity in the supply chain system.
“We are Government’s stakeholders; we supply foodstuffs to them. Now the Government does not reciprocate by paying suppliers on time,” he said.
He said paying suppliers on time would help them improve and expand their businesses through contracts with Government.
Mr Singoyi said the current scenario did not give suppliers an opportunity to grow their businesses.
“That is one issue we would like Government to address, for example if I supply today and takes about three years to get my money; this means I will be phased out. Look at the Kwacha the way it has fallen.
“We want to see an improvement on that side; if Government can think of the suppliers as the small-scale sector, they would support the growth and pay on time,’’ he said.
He explained that suppliers from almost all parts of Zambia had the same complaint, adding that they were pushed from one office to another when following up payments without any positive results.
“I am one person who has fought day and night to see that we have a cash budget, but this has brought some problems and orders are not being given.
“Suppliers are being pushed from seeing one person to another; we are failing to understand what is going on because our businesses are collapsing,” he said.