Pandor taken to task for R1 million spent on potted plants

2014-07-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Watering the plants in the Department of Science and Technology building in Pretoria has cost the taxpayer more than R1 million over the past five years.

In the past three months the potted plants swallowed R90 000 and their care will cost an estimated R380 000 in the next year. These amounts were listed by minister of Science and Technology in response to a parliamentary question posed by the DA.

The pot plants are displayed in the department’s buildings at the HSRC.

Pandor said in her answer all the staff benefited from the plants.

In another parliamentary answer Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters said her department had only a few plastic plants on display in the ministerial office. The only care they require is for the cleaning staff to wipe dust off the leaves.

The DA’s shadow minister for science and technology Annelie Lotriet said the cost of the plants in the HSRC office complex showed the department’s wrong priorities. She said the Department of Tourism, which has offices across South Africa, spent less than R20 000 on plants. Lotriet said the R1 million which Science and Technology had spent on plants in less than five years could not be justified.

Lotriet said she will ask the parliamentary committee on Science and Technology to call on Pandor to explain this spending.

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