DA wants Gordhan to answer

2010-06-29 00:00

THE Democratic Party in the National Assembly has formally requested that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan be brought before parliament’s select committee on finance to answer questions about what action he is going to take against government departments and public entities that have spent almost R50 million on Fifa World Cup tickets.

In a statement issued yesterday, DA chief whip Ian Davidson confirmed that he has written to the chairperson of the committee, Chareli Jacobus de Beer, requesting that Gordhan be brought before the committee.

Yesterday, in a reply to the DA’s parliamentary question on the purchase of World Cup tickets using public funds, it was discovered that another public entity, PetroSA, spent R12,5 million on tickets.

The R50 million excludes some government departments that have yet to release their figures, as well as the nine provincial governments and municipalities.

The purchases were made in spite of Gordhan’s warning to government departments that buying World Cup tickets will amount to unauthorised expenditure and the transgression of the Public Finance Management Act.

“The DA will be writing to the chairperson of the select committee on finance to request that the minister of Finance appear (before the committee) to explain what action the Treasury will take against those responsible for this increasingly large, wasteful and entirely self-indulgent expenditure,” Davidson said.

Last week The Witness reported that another DA MP, Tim Harris, wrote to the Finance minister asking him precisely what action is going to be taken against these departments and entities.

Harris is also a member of the select committee on finance,

The minister has not yet responded to Harris’s letter.

Spending on World Cup by government departments and public entities is as follows:

•Department of Trade and Industry: R16 738 960 on an estimated 3 054 tickets

•Department of Science and Technology: R 25 200 on 10 tickets

•Department of Tourism: R918 973 on 180 tickets

•Department of Public Service and Administration: R65 400 on 25 tickets

•Department of Communications: R 5,2 million on 2 786 tickets

•Industrial Development Corporation (department of Trade and Industry): R12 million

•Eskom (department of Public Enterprises): R12 million

•PetroSA (department of Energy) — R12,5 million on 1 000 tickets

•CEF (department of Energy) – R1,4 million.

The secretary to the chairperson of the committee, Zolani Rento, told The Witness yesterday, they are not aware of the DA’s letter.

He added, however, that committee members have a right to request that the committee calls any minister to appear before it.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Premier Zweli Mkhize is facing a parliamentary inquiry after it was reported that his office bought tickets for MPLs and other government officials. His spokesperson, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, has said the KZN government had bought tic€ kets as part of a marketing campaign.

It is not yet clear how much was spent by the premier’s office on ticket purchases and whether other provincial departments and municipalities have also spent public money to purchase the tickets.

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