MEC does not deny taxpayer paid for East London ANC-Councillor Junket

Bobby Stevenson MPL

Chief Whip and Shadow MEC for Finance

State resources were used to fund a gathering of 1 050 ANC councillors in East London on 29 April 2013. The DA will continue to pursue the illegal expenditure by municipalities for an ANC-junket which cost the tax payer an estimated R4 million.

During oral question time in a sitting of the provincial legislature, the MEC for Local Government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, indicated that only certain costs were borne by the department (R416 000), leaving the bulk of the cost to municipalities.  It is clear from his response that our cash-strapped municipalities paid for over 1 050 ANC-councillors for their accommodation and transport to attend what amounted to an ANC-meeting.

He did not deny that municipalities incurred expenditure.

State resources from cash-strapped municipalities cannot be gobbled up by the ANC when there is a crying need for service delivery in this province.  This incident was an outrageous abuse of power and shows that the ANC has totally lost the plot when it comes to distinguishing between what is a party activity and a government activity.

I will be asking follow-up questions to the department to ascertain what amount was spent by each municipality in this regard.

As far as the DA is concerned, this expenditure is illegal and we will continue to pursue this matter in the interest of clean administration.  The 180 DA-councillors in the Eastern Cape will fight to ensure that any expenses incurred for this event by their municipalities are repaid by the individuals concerned.

Although this was clearly an ANC event, the invitation had been sent out on the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs letterhead.  No DA-councillors were invited to this event.

According to a Daily Dispatch report ‘ANC councillors spend big in East London’, hotels were booked from Saturday through to Tuesday.  If one adds up the costs of accommodation, meals, transport, and subsistence allowances, this event could have cost the tax payer between R4 million and R5 million.

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