The Gauteng health department is the worst performing of all the departments in the province when it comes to supplier payments, finance MEC Barbara Creecy said on Tuesday.

The health department was publicly criticised after a Health Ombudsman report revealed that over 100 patients died when they were moved from Life Esidimeni centres to 27 NGOs.

Creecy said the delays in supplier payments have affected service delivery to poor communities.

“Small businesses are closed down due to non-payment,” she said during her budget speech.

Premier David Makhura instructed treasury to work with the departments of health, education and infrastructure to ensure 90% of invoices are paid within 90 days.

“I have said before that we will only achieve this target when the departments concerned have sustained strategies to manage down accruals,” Creecy said.

She said her office had already met with MEC for health Gwen Ramokgopa and her team to get the process back on track.

Eleven of the 14 departments in Gauteng were paying 93% of their invoices within 30 days, she said. Of these, 79% are paid within 19 days.