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DA: Statement by Lindiwe Mazibuko, Democratic Alliance national spokesperson, on the government wasteful expenditure task team (18/07/2010)

18th July 2010

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DA has written to Minister Richard Baloyi for status on Task Team reviewing government expenditure
Wasteful expenditure could be better spent on providing for the needs of ordinary South Africans
Blade Nzimande's hotel bills and Premier Modiselle's new bills add to the R1,5 billion already spent by other ANC officials





I have written a letter to Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi enquiring about the status of the Task Team set up by government over a year ago (in July 2009) to review government expenditure and requested that he inform us as to when its findings will be announced. A copy of the DA's Wasteful Expenditure Monitor report was provided along with the letter.

A copy of the letter follows below.

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The long delay seems to suggest the government is not serious about turning the wasteful expenditure tide, as not a day passed by without yet more examples of personal indulgence trumping service delivery. This kind of anti-poor behaviour is coming to define this administration.

Just two days after the DA released a one-year review of our Wasteful Expenditure Monitor report, another national minister and the Premier of North West Province has been implicated in wasteful and excessive spending. Yesterday, the Saturday Star reported that Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr. Blade Nzimande spent 15 days staying at a luxurious 5 star hotel in Cape Town, costing over R40 000. Today, both City Press and Rapport have revealed that North West Premier Maureen Modiselle has ordered a new BMW costing R1,1 million while her current official car sits in an auto repair shop with some minor damage.

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Unfortunately, these incidents add to the trend identified by the DA of senior government officials preferring to indulge themselves instead of serving the interests of the South African public. The DA's Wasteful Expenditure Monitor report, released on Thursday, noted that numerous ANC Ministers, Deputy Ministers and the National Government departments and entities that report to them have spent close to R 1.5 billion of public funds on unnecessary luxuries such as new luxury cars, prolonged stays in five-star hotels, tickets to major sporting events and self-congratulatory advertising.

This is money that could have been better spent on providing services to ordinary South Africans, especially the poor.

It is imperative that the ANC National Government follow through with its July 2009 commitment that a Task Team, headed by Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi, would review government expenditure in light of the recent global economic crisis. According to the post-cabinet media briefing at the time, the Task Team's work forms part of a comprehensive expenditure review that would advise cabinet on matters such as ‘how the purchase of new vehicles should be handled'.

 

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