Ministers are reckless with money

2009-12-01 12:57

WHEN news surfaced that Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale

had canned the R22-million play commissioned by his department, former minister,

Lindiwe Sisulu’s spokesperson called into radio station 702 to say that she was

not aware of this expenditure because there were accounting officers in the

department. In short, the blame lay with the accounting officers.

While I don’t absolve the accounting officers of this massive waste

I have come to believe that this department has a lot of money if R22?million

can be spent on an inconsequential venture and the minister is not aware of it.

I assume if this money had been spent on the 474 houses it could build, the

minister would have taken notice and even reported on it.

It seems top officials in that department spend money with reckless

abandon. While Sexwale was spending a night in a shack to experience the

conditions of living among the poor, in just seven months the director-general

and his deputy had spent close to R2?million on travelling and hotels. It is

absolutely ridiculous, a complete disregard of those people who are pleading for

houses, and takes the meaning out of Sexwale’s shack visit.

Sexwale runs a department with a hold on social stability in this

country and has a big job cut out for him. If he wants the people at the bottom

to receive the houses they’ve spent years waiting for, he needs to start with

the rot surrounding him.

Housing delivery doesn’t seem to be a priority of those at the top.

Maybe he should begin by assessing them on their record of delivery compared to

their expenditure and way of living.

Stephen Twinoburyo


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