Province sets aside R1m for officials’ portraits

The Eastern Cape health department has set aside nearly R1 million to have 1 520 framed photographs of Premier Phumulo Masualle and Health MEC Pumza Dyantyi at all its health facilities.

“The tender was advertised last month, I think. It has not been won yet, and we did not specify an amount. What we did was set aside R1 million for the pictures and frames, that is something I can’t deny,” the department’s director of communications Siyanda Manana said today.

“It will be for the printing of portraits, and putting them into frames. We went through a bid process and we haven’t got to the stage as to how much it will cost and we haven’t spent that money yet.”

Manana explained the project was a matter of compliance that would save the government much money in the long term. The frames would not be changed in the next few decades, even if new premiers or MECs are appointed.

“I’m doing this so that in 10 years, 16 years’ time I don’t have to go through this process again. Ten years down the line, the frame will remain the same, only the picture will change, and that will cost about R60 to R80. In this way we save money.

“Also remember that with inflation, the prices of frames and pictures will go up in the end.”

He said it was cheaper to buy the frames in bulk.

“This is for long-term planning. We have not yet established how much each frame will cost, but one service provider could charge us more.”

The department was looking at getting several providers in various districts to put up the portraits at health facilities around the province.

“All government departments do this thing. I’m doing this in this way to drive the cost down and save money. Each and every department has its own budgets for this,” he said.

“If you go into any government department, you will see pictures of the president, the premiers, and the MECs.”

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