About 80 small businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay have threatened to shut down housing construction projects if they are not paid R23-million owed to them by Bhisho by Friday.
Leaders representing the small, medium, micro enterprises (SMMEs) gathered at the Housing Development Agency (HDA) regional offices early yesterday, demanding to be paid for work completed last month.
They said if they were not paid by Friday, they would stop projects in Joe Slovo, Chatty Extension and Soweto-on-Sea.
The payment delay, the group was told, was because the HDA was waiting for money to be transferred from Bhisho.
The HDA builds houses on behalf of the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements.
Speaking for the SMMEs, Mhleli Peter said they thought things would be better when the HDA took over from the metro.
“We are surprised to hear the same story that the provincial housing has not paid,” he said.
“We have suppliers to pay, housing beneficiaries are waiting for their houses.
“The non-payments do not only affect us but also service delivery.
“Our workers are bread winners in their homes and they don’t understand why they can’t be paid.”
Department of Human Settlements spokesman Lwandile Sicwetsha said contractors would be paid by Friday.