John Moodey MPL
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has racked up a cellphone bill of R217 000 in the past three financial years, increasing from R55 000 in 2010/11 to R99 481 in 2012/13. The Premier spent an average of R6 000 a month on her cellphone during this period, with the R15 534.68 for September 2012 being the highest.
The detailed monthly breakdown of the Premier’s cellphone expenditure was provided in response to my application for the information under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). The application was necessary because the Premier refused to divulge her cellphone spending to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
The Premier’s cellphone expenditure appears excessive, especially when compared to other MECs who did provide responses to the questions posed in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko spent on average R15 000 a year, while Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi’s cellphone bill is about R26 000 a year.
Another big spender is Agriculture, Rural and Social Development MEC Nandi-Mayathula-Khoza, with a total cellphone bill of R134 848.60 for the three year period. She also had the highest monthly cellphone bill with a staggering R19 164 bill for June 2011.
It is absolutely critical that the Premier and members of her provincial executive are accessible and responsive at all times, but cost effective and tailor-made cellphone packages are being offered by all service providers.
The DA awaits further responses to our PAIA applications and will assess these as they come in. The DA calls on the provincial government to contract the most cost effective cellphone packages and ensure that cellphones, as tools necessary to do the job at hand, are used cost effectively.