Economic Development Over-Expenditure Concerns

Gerda Moolman, MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Spokesperson of Economic Development

The Democratic Alliance will closely monitor indications of over-expenditure within the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. This follows last week’s portfolio committee meeting at which the department presented its first quarterly performance report for the period of April-June 2012.

It was highlighted at the meeting that for the first quarter, the department spent R 22,969 million instead of the budgeted R11,124 million on the tourism programme. At the same time, the department spent R27,293 million instead of R12,519 million on goods and services. The over-expenditure amounts to approximately 206 % and 218% expenditure of the respective quarterly budgets.

Whilst overall the department still remains within budget and will be able to balance the first quarter’s over-expenditure in coming quarters, the over-expenditure on these specific programmes and classifications is nonetheless disconcerting. This is especially so considering an admission by the department that the Maloof Money Cup had a lot to do with the said over-expenditure.

The DA finds the whole process by which the province undertook to host the Maloof Money Cup questionable. Government has invested millions into this international skateboarding event but, while the department is quick to present figures pertaining to marketing publicity obtained for the Northern Cape through this event, they are slow talk about the full extent of the financial implications.

We can only assume that the department’s inability to fully reveal the cost of hosting this event is due to a failure on their part to properly budget for this event. This, we believe is in turn due to over hasty decisions taken by a few individuals who, since the start of the Maloof planning process, have never taken the financial implications into consideration.

It is deeply disturbing that the department is being used as bottomless pit of funding for a singular event. The DA will monitor the situation by asking parliamentary questions and through further interaction at future committee meetings.

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