News24

Nzimande disappoints Sasco

2010-07-19 15:12

Johannesburg - The SA Students Congress (Sasco) on Monday expressed disappointment at Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande for staying at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town at the taxpayers' expense.

"In a society riddled by crass materialism and conspicuous consumption, we believe that this is a morality own-goal from the ministry of higher education," said Sasco president Mbulelo Mandlana in a statement.

The minister stayed at the hotel for 15 days last year at an estimated cost of R40 000. Mandlana called for the minister to take a more hands-on approach to matters which could be later abused by opportunists hoping to score political points.

Sasco also criticised a story in The Star newspaper on the matter.

"We also condemn the sensationalist reporting from The Star that seeks to portray mistakes by the ministry of higher education as though it's mistakes committed by the SACP."

Sasco also condemned the department of public works for dragging its feet in ensuring ministers receive State-allocated houses in Cape Town while on duty.

Ranjeni Munusamy, spokesperson for the higher education department, said that it was due to the public works department that the minister had been forced to find alternative accommodation in Cape Town.

"Between June and October last year we found alternative accommodation at various hotels and managed to negotiate government discount rates," said Munusamy.

"We really do not believe that R40 000 is excessive over a five month period."