Gordhan waters down booze ban

2013-12-22 08:17
(Photo: AFP)

(Photo: AFP)

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Cape Town - On Friday Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan quietly published an instruction note from the Treasury that back-pedals on his announcement in October that taxpayers' money will no longer be spent on alcohol, reports the Sunday Times.

According to the Sunday Times, Gordhan said in the revision note that taxpayers will, from January 1, be paying the booze bills for state banquets, parties attended by foreign dignitaries and functions that promote South Africa or its goods and services.

This is in contradiction to his recent announcement that in a series of cost-cutting measures, no public funds would be used for the purchase of alcohol.

He has also back-pedalled on his decision to cut government credit cards. It has been revealed that Treasury is now allowed to exempt departments and state-owned entities from the ban if circumstances justify it.

No alcohol at state functions

Gordhan originally said in his mini budget speech, presented in parliament in October, that the cabinet has taken the lead in showing commitment to eliminating wasteful government expenditure by issuing cost containment instructions to executives at all three government levels.

This included that those who attend state functions will in future have to go without alcohol.
The instructions will apply to the broader public sector, and according to the budget document “parliament and the public will be invited to help monitor compliance”.

It will be applied to purchasing standards for official cars, the renting of cars, travel and accommodation of political office bearers and civil servants, consultancy, catering, entertainment and conference budgets.

Read more on:    pravin gordhan

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