David van Vuuren
DA Chief Whip in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
The Free State Provincial Government under the premiership of Ace Magashule have literally been wined and dined to the tune of R321 million over the last 5 years. To add further insult to injury, the provincial government spent another R4 million to be entertained while gorging away. In total a whopping R325 million has been lost.
Evidence of this feeding frenzy came to light after the DA submitted written questions to each provincial department asking them to disclose catering and entertainment expenses incurred over the last five years. The amount is set to climb even higher once we receive the reply from MEC for Economic Development, Mosebenzi Zwane.
It is unacceptable that this staggering amount of money has gone to fund luxurious dinners for the elite while the majority of our people in the Free State live in absolute poverty.
The provincial government under the non-leadership of Ace Magashule has been on a path of self-aggrandisement since 2009.
In the wake of this destruction, the Free State continues to shed jobs, more people struggle to make ends meet and join the long welfare lines for a pittance, scraping together every last cent in a desperate attempt to survive the harsh realities of life in an economically declining province.
This R325 million could have been better used to assist the Department of Health with its almost R800 million shortfall. It could have appointed much needed medical specialists or buy medicine, both of which are in desperate short supply in all our provincial hospitals.
The worst case of gluttony took place within the Department of Education. MEC Tate Makgoe spent more than R143 million on catering alone, money that could have gone towards addressing his department’s R1,3 billion shortfall.
The ANC does not care about the plight of our people. It cares only about its grip on power and the access to resources that come with it.
The tide is turning.
At this rate the ANC in the Free State will eat themselves out of government before they know it.