The State of Late Payments - South Africa 2019

Forging a positive payment culture with new technology

To help us better understand the extent of the late payments problem in South Africa, we surveyed over 500 SME owners. Here’s what we found out…

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51 Percent

of SMEs are owed money outside of their terms of payment

This has a significant impact on a business’ ability to pay its own staff and suppliers.

59 Percent

see cash flow and late payments as a threat to their business

It doesn’t just restrict their business at the moment, but long-term aspirations too. 

43 Percent

would clear business or personal debt if paid on time

Late payments keep them behind on clearing credit and loans

18 Percent

Average no. of working hours spent chasing late payments each year

That’s more than two working weeks wasted!

18 Percent

How late the average overdue invoice is paid

Over three working weeks spent wondering.


Truth Coffee Roasting, Cape Town • Xero Customer

98 Percent
owed to businesses with 10-49 employees at any given time
98 Percent
owed to businesses with 50-100 employees at any given time

Read the full report here

See the full picture of how late payments affect South African SMEs with the complete, in-depth research.

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About the research: The survey research was conducted by Censuswide, with 502 Business Decision Makers in SMEs (1-249 employees) in South Africa in October 2019. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.