Gauteng Premier and Legislature should set savings example

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng spokesperson on the Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office and Legislature

During yesterday’s medium term budget speech, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene made welcome references to changes in spending patterns of public funds, and the DA calls on Gauteng premier David Makhura to curb expenditure on nice-to-have items.

During his speech, Minister Nene committed to:

  • Cut-backs in peripheral spending on travel, subsistence, conferences and catering;
  • Capping expenditure on the use of consultants at 2014/15 levels; and
  • Establishing realistic public service remuneration levels.

While cynics will argue that we have been here before and that the country’s first citizen sets high standards in profligacy, the DA believes that much-publicized excessive spending has to be reined in.

So too do we believe that, in Gauteng, the Office of the Premier and the Legislature should demonstrate to taxpayers that they are serious about savings.

The Portfolio Committee which oversees these bodies has closely scrutinized their most recent annual reports, and posed pertinent questions over spending patterns on:

  • Subsistence and travel,
  • Lavish ceremonies such as the opening of the 5th Legislature; and
  • Expensive self-advertisement campaigns.

There is little doubt that more prudent and focused financial policies would yield gratifying results and, most importantly, set an example for all Provincial Departments and entities.

The moment is opportune for the premier to demonstrate his government’s commitment to prevent excessive spending.

Over to you, Honourable Premier