South Africa’s government continues to burn through tax payers money when it comes to consultants, travel and catering, having spent R23 billion on these things in the 2014/15 financial year.
This is according to the DA, which applauded the fact that the sum was at least 8% or R2 billion less than the figure of R25 billion in 2013/14.
The political party noted that the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, introduced “belt-tightening measures” during his Medium Term Budget Statement in 2013.
The belt-tightening measures were aimed at slashing the amount spent on consultants, travel and catering in 2013/14 in all departments, constitutional institutions and public entities.
Replying to a parliamentary question the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, revealed that total amount spent by departments on consultants, travel and catering in 2014/15.
The savings by departments was broken down as follows:
- A saving of R364 million, or 3% of total spending on consultants by departments in 2014/15 compared to 2013/14;
- A saving of R571 million, or 6% of total spending on travel and subsistence by departments in 2014/15 compared to 2013/14; and
- A saving of R1,075 billion, or 47% of total spending on catering, entertainment and venue rental by departments in 2014/15 compared to 2013/14.
The DA said it welcomed government’s efforts to cut its spend, however this only represents an 8% saving on the total amount.
“What this suggests is that some departments are resisting the implementation of cost containment measures and are failing to comply with National Treasury Instruction 01 of 2013/2014.
I will, therefore, be writing to the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, requesting him to provide me with a breakdown of the savings of each department on consultants, travel and catering in 2014/15 compared to 2013/14.
We need to identify the big spending “bad apples” which are refusing to tighten their belts and deal with them in Parliament.