Time to trim the fat off Gauteng’s half a billion Rand travel and catering bill

Mike Moriarty MPL

Spokesperson on Finance

Gauteng Provincial Departments spent R534.240 million on entertainment, catering and travel and subsistence in the 2012/13 financial year, this is more than the entire budget for the Department of Community Safety or Sports, Recreation, and Culture.

The total is also up by almost R200 million from the previous financial year.

Gauteng Departments spend an average of R3.5 million a month on catering, but the greatest driver of spending is travel and subsistence, with R380 million spent on local travel and just over R100 million on foreign travel.

The expenditure contained in the various 2012/13 Annual Reports for the departments is broken down as follows:

 

 2012/2013 

 2011/2012 

 R ‘ 000 

 R ‘ 000 

Travel and Subsistence

491 628

305 254

Catering

42 049

46 332

Entertainment

563

1 242

Total

534 240

352 828

 

The Premier and Economic Development Departments each spent more than R5 million on foreign travel, while Sports MEC Lebogang Maile’s department spent R6.5 million on catering. A detailed breakdown is available here.

The DA is pleased to note that the entertainment spending has halved, but it is clear that more needs to be done to trim the fat.

The DA hopes that Gauteng Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe will announce cost cutting measures in his mini-budget next month similar to those pushed for by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan recently.

Politicians and departmental staff must make use of cost effective travel and accommodation. Government and its officials must not be allowed to abuse the public purse by living in luxury at the public expense.