Business owners say inactive bank accounts to blame for delayed payments on drain projects
'We have been paid' - SMMEs
A large group of small business owners gathered outside Newspaper House on Tuesday morning to provide proof that they have since been paid money owed to them for cleaning drains around the city.
They have also come out in defense of the leaders of the Black Business Caucus, Baba Ningi and Lithemba Singapi, saying their names had been "smeared" in the media and on social media.
They said they simply wanted to tell the rest of the city that they had been paid what was owed to them.
Nomhle Zembe, 75, said because of BBC convener Baba Ningi she had seen her business, Vukani Bafazi Construction, grow with the assistance of the business forum.
"I'm here to affirm that BBC is where black businesses get opportunities and are uplifted. I was one of those who was not paid but my money is in.
"I registered my company in 1992 but today I'm still a grade one because of many obstacles put in my way.
"Even if I die today I'll die a happy business owner because Baba saved my business," Zembe said.
Nomathamsanqa Tom and Phumza Mbombo said they also thought they were not paid because the money did not reflect at an ATM but when they eventually went inside the bank requested statements, they said they saw the money had been deposited on December 24.
Thembakazi Nzeku said she was not paid because of an inactive bank account but was promised to be paid by the end of the week.
Last week, several SMMEs gathered outside City Hall complaining they had not been paid, and they accused Ningi and Singaphi of paying themselves R2m each.
This followed a Facebook post showing Ningi and his daughter carrying large stacks of money.
The post accused Ningi of living large while several SMMEs went unpaid.
At the time, both Both Singaphi and Ningi rubbished the claims.