Union demands state repays money spent on tickets

2010-06-15 13:50

The National Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has demanded

that state entities repay nearly R11 million spent on 2010 World Cup tickets in

defiance of a government ban on purchasing match seats with public funds.

Nehawu said: “Our union finds it totally unacceptable that our

townships are burning because of poor service delivery and millions go hungry

every day, yet the overpaid state bureaucrats are stealing the taxpayer’s money

to watch soccer.

“We call on the auditor general to investigate this violation of

the Public Finance Management Act. We demand the immediate reimbursement of the

public and for the ministers of these departments to account and also act

against anyone found to have acted inappropriately.”

Government said last week that it had ordered departments not to

splurge on match seats for the world’s biggest sporting event, with the

exception of the sports and international relations departments.

The National Treasury warned that officials who signed off on World

Cup ticket purchases could face charges of financial misconduct and irregular

expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has reportedly asked

Auditor-General Terence Nombembe to watch out for budget funds allocated to

ticket buying when the audits for the 2009/10 financial year start.

However, it has emerged that various departments forked out a total

of R10.9 million for tickets.

The cash-strapped SABC spent R3.3 million on 2 000 tickets for the

world’s biggest sporting event, signal regulator Sentech spent R1.7 million on

96 tickets, and the SA Post office spent R800 000 on 500 tickets.

The department of public service and administration paid R65 400

for 25 tickets to World Cup matches and

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor conceded on yesterday

that her department bought 10 Fifa World Cup quarter-final tickets as incentives

for employees at a price R25 200.

She also revealed that the Council for Scientific and Industrial

Research (CSIR) had bought 17 tickets for tomorrow’s Group A match between South

Africa and Uruguay and the Chile-Spain clash in Pretoria on June 25.

The tickets

cost R314 990.

The department of trade and industry spent a further R4.7 million

on seats for the tournament and the tourism department paid R918 973 for 180

tickets.



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