Mpuma legislature cutting costs on travel agencies

2016-11-14 21:19
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Mbombela - The Mpumalanga government has made headway in reducing irregular and wasteful expenditure by cutting out travel agencies when booking flights and hotels.

“We have decided to cut out travel agencies to save money. We found that we saved R21 million in 2015/2016,” provincial legislature Speaker Thandi Shongwe said at the relaunch of the Mpumalanga Provincial Speakers Forum held in Mbombela last Thursday and Friday.

Shongwe asked that recommendations in audit reports be followed in order to achieve clean audits. Expenditure should be about value for money, not just comfort.   

“We realised we have been spending unnecessarily in using travel agencies who charge us almost double or triple the prices of flights, hotels, car rentals etcetera,” she said.

Her staff were renting cars at airports themselves, and booked flights and hotels themselves, getting quotations and picking the cheapest, most convenient option.

Speakers from all three district municipalities and 17 local municipalities attended the event.

Following the August 3 local government elections, the new speakers in some municipalities reportedly asked for new luxury vehicles after rejecting the hand-me-downs.

Shongwe warned that spending on assistance for the poor was coming under increasing pressure due to low revenues and a growing deficit. 

Auditor Sibongile Lubambo said municipalities should call the Auditor-General’s office for help with audits that had received disclaimers or were qualified.

“We provide them with opportunities to make adjustments to some of their inaccurate or bad reports,” Lubambo said.

Read more on:    mpumalanga  |  budgets

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