News24

Govt not acting on splurging - DA

2010-07-18 22:22

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Sunday said that government's lack of action against officials who use public funds for personal indulgence showed that it was not serious about ending wasteful expenditure.

"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," DA MP Lindiwe Mazibuko said in a statement.

She said that her party had written a letter to Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi enquiring about work done by the task team set up by government to review government expenditure.

It said the party did not get any response from the minister.

The DA said that President Jacob Zuma's government had spent R1.5bn on luxury cars, five-star hotel accommodation, parties, tickets for sports events and "self-congratulatory" advertising.

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko defended the task team and said it was doing its job.

Cabinet, not DA

"The task team reports to Cabinet, not the DA," said Maseko.

"No report has been done yet, but when the task team finishes its work it will report to Cabinet."

After studying the report Cabinet will then make the findings of the report public.

The DA raised its concerns after weekend newspapers reported that government officials,  including Minister of Communications Siphiwe Nyanda and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, were using the taxpayers' moneys to afford lavish life styles.

The Mail and Guardian reported that Nyanda had spent over R500 000 of public funds to stay at a five-star hotel for almost a year.

The newspaper also accused Nyanda's deputy, Dina Pule, and the department's director general, Mamodupi Mohlala, of using the public purse to stay in lavish hotels.

The Saturday Star also accused Nzimande of using public funds to stay at a five-star hotel costing the state over R40 000.

"This kind of anti-poor behaviour is coming to define this administration," the DA said.