’Tis the season to cut budgets

2012-11-18 21:15

Johannesburg - South Africa’s big corporations, and state-owned and affiliated enterprises are removing the bling from Christmas this year by cutting back on their festive season party budgets or doing away with year-end functions entirely.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Ingonyama Trust will throw its 37 employees one of South Africa’s most expensive Christmas parties per head this year.

At R2 700 a head, the king’s Christmas party is more than 10 times pricier than that of the sixth-largest Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company, MTN, which is only spending R250 on each employee this year.

A total of R100 000 from its workshops and roadshows budget will be spent by the Ingonyama Trust, which is chaired by King Goodwill Zwelithini, on its Christmas party.

MTN chief human resources officer Themba Nyathi said the company will not be inviting musicians for year-end functions this year and that staff members decide how the R250-a-head budget can be better spent.

Cell C staff will not be having a party at all, says spokesperson Karin Fourie.

Vodacom, which reportedly spent R30m on its Christmas party in 2005, says its year-end events are different in each region.

Spokesperson Richard Boorman said Vodacom’s Gauteng staff recently had a family day at a theme park.

“We’re not having live music at any of the events,” he said.

State-owned entities are spending about R21m on Christmas parties this year, according to parliamentary replies to questions from Democratic Alliance MPs.

The Competition Commission’s 180 employees will be treated to a R1 200-a-person party.

Even the presidency, which has spent R18m on entertainment and catering in the past five years, says it won’t have a Christmas party this year.

A year of bruising e-toll battles will end in style for the staff of the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral).

Sanral will be spending about R900 per person at a family event for its staff and their partners.

Transnet has budgeted R10m on 56 000 employees and 1 000 customers for its Christmas party.

The Airports Company SA (Acsa) insists that the R1.4m for year-end functions in airports countrywide is not extravagant at all.

The company’s Solomon Makgale said about R1.3m was spent last year.

He said it’s important for Acsa to show appreciation for staff since most will be working during the busy holiday period.

  • john.r.bamber - 2012-11-18 21:44

    I guess the bonuses of the senior management remain untouched!

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-19 03:11

      Perish the thought!!!

      alan.jerrold - 2012-11-19 09:13

      Unreal! Look at the corrupt types who ARE spending a fortune on Christmas parties: Goodwill Zwelithini who sponges millions and millions from our tax money, ACSA (ANC-owned)whose prices are an absolute ripoff, Scamral (invested in by the ANC)who claim to be short of billions and Transnet (who are funded by our tax money). It's just wonderful to make merry with other people's money isn't it?

  • cheryl.luff.3 - 2012-11-18 21:59


  • bless.boswell - 2012-11-18 23:59

    Spare a thought for those who have no jobs, no bonuses, no food and no hope. There are many. And will be more if JZ stays...

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-11-19 03:10

    "Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Ingonyama Trust will throw its 37 employees one of South Africa’s most expensive Christmas parties per head this year". Now we know why he asked for the additional R12 million a month ago...he needed it to PARTY!!! yeah baby!! The only way I see a good Christmas, is if all in the cabinet, were paid a the basic minimum wage,(always) and the president not paid at all. It ought to be a position of honour. Ah well, Nero fiddles while Rome burns ne?

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-19 07:22

    If you weren't in, you were out. Look forward to this nonsense dying out.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-19 08:08

    Strikeback notices that the departments who failed to make a positive contribution to the country's income are the ones that will have the biggest parties. The Zulu King requested a larger budget, as his current budget can not keep up with his spending. Now we see why. Sanral claims to be in bad shape financially, but seems to have adequate funds for a party. Strikeback and the other taxpayers will join Cell C this year and have no Christmas party - after all, we had to pay for the others and was not even invited.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-19 08:27

      Yeah, and on top of which, he moaned beacuse his staff stole over a million from him.....'member the article? "staff on a spending spree etc" We might well be doomed.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-19 08:17

    Strikeback finds it strange that the department and institutions with the worst contributions to the economy has the best parties. The Zulu King needs a bigger budget, because his spending habits outweighs his budget. We now see why. Sanral claim to be in dire financial trouble due to the e-toll delays, but yet again, found enough money for a large party budget. Strikeback will join Cell C and other taxpayers this year and have no Christmas party. After all we paid for all the other parties, but was not invited.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-19 08:26

    Our apologies for the double posting. The first post did not immediately appear and I thought it has disappeared like our Christmas party tax money! Merry Christmas!

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-11-19 08:42

    Just to put it in perspective for those farm workers living in shacks at Dedoorns.... State owned ANC run (public owned) entities will spend 21 000 000.00 rand on Christmas, New year party and end of the year booze up parties, which could have paid for 350 000 RDP houses at R60 000.00 each, I was so surprised myself I did the calculations three times..... and that is not taking into account any of the other parties being thrown by other institutions and private companies that are included above??????? King Goodwill and his royal wastage should be scrapped, he is not even giving his people a slice of cake. Companies spending millions?????? What is that they can avoid paying taxes, why not give staff bigger bonuses instead of supplying more alcohol..... let me guess? Some nephew owns an events company..... so lets fleece some cream off the top of some strawberries.

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