DA KZN: Social Development department spends 400k on self-promotion

Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development

KZN’s Social Development department squandered R400 000 on events related to its 2014 budget speech – money that could have built a rural community-based drug centre.

The figure is from a September parliamentary reply to the DA by MEC, Weziwe Thusi.  According to the reply the department spent the following “in relation to the 2014 budget debate sitting and related events”;

  • Advertising                             R306 953.66
  • Catering and décor               R71 375.00
  • Entertainment                       R17 000.00
  • Total                                       R395 328.66

This expenditure is ridiculous – especially when the money could have been used to fight the drug scourge in KZN or to assist the many impoverished communities in our province.

The budget debate should have been publicised through the department’s local offices or governmental newspapers.  This would not have cost a cent.  Certainly it is not necessary to have items such as catering, décor and entertainment.

The outlay is made all the worse given the fact that the department is already operating on a tight budget.  This is increasingly evident when one looks at the state of Social Development offices in KZN.  The department’s protests of having no money ring hollow in the face of such extravagance.

Once again it is the people of KZN who must suffer as the MEC and her officials boost their ego’s.

The DA will raise this matter as part of our departmental oversight role at the next meeting of the provincial Social Development portfolio committee.  We expect the MEC and her department to curb such runaway expenditure in future.