MECs claim R1,5?mln in travel costs

2009-12-08 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize and seven MECs have amassed a total of R1,5  million in travel claims in four months.

In a statement issued by the DA yesterday, opposition party leader John Steenhuisen said the R1,5 million in travel claims was for a period between May and August this year.

This was revealed by Finance MEC, Ina Cronje in a parliamentary reply last week to questions submitted by the DA requesting information about the legislature’s travel claims.

“Topping the list of ‘gas guzzlers’ is KZN Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, with a whopping claim of R383 618 for the four-month period, followed by Arts, Culture and Sports and Recreation MEC Weziwe Thusi, with R286 773,” said Steenhuisen.

The premier claimed a total of R96 529, Education MEC Senzo Mchunu R223 799, Cronje R209 129, MEC for Social Development Meshack Radebe R136 198, MEC for Health Sibongiseni Dhlomo R135 942 and MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development Lydia Johnson R64 529.

Reimbursing officials for using their private vehicles is within the parameters of the law. The ministerial handbook adopted by national cabinet provides for this. However, its provisions have been disparaged by opposition parties, who have called for the policy to be reviewed.

Steenhuisen said that the DA believes a cost-benefit analysis needs to be done to establish whether this is the most cost-effective manner to be dealing with MECs’ travel.



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