Government Must Explain Expenditure on Secrecy Bill Campaign

Alf Lees MP

DA NCOP Member for KwaZulu-Natal

It was revealed in a response to a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that government spent R2.7 million on the controversial Secrecy Bill campaign which ran earlier this year.

I will be submitting parliamentary questions to determine whether it is government practice to budget for advertising draft legislation which is before Parliament and what the justification for such budgetary provisions are. If this is indeed not the case, government must explain the decision to budget R3 million for the Secrecy Bill campaign.

This propaganda campaign was an obvious attempt by State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele’s department to misrepresent the Bill and served as a means of fighting back against the overwhelming rejection of the draft legislation by the people of South Africa.

The DA believes this is an unnecessary and wasteful expense given that the bill is currently under the jurisdiction of Parliament. The DA objected to government and the state security department’s engagement in the propaganda campaign in support of a piece of legislation that is still being deliberated upon and has yet to be signed into law. We maintain that it shows a clear disregard for the separation of powers.

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