OPINION

Billions of wasteful expenditure buried in MTBPS 2016 – David Maynier

DA will strongly oppose wasteful expenditure identified by proposing amendments to the 2016/17 adjusted budget

Billions of rands of wasteful expenditure buried in MTBPS 2016 

28 October 2016 

The Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, claims that government is committed to reducing waste.

However, careful scrutiny of the 2016/17 Adjusted Estimates of Expenditure reveals shocking levels of wasteful expenditure. 

The 2016/17 adjusted budget provides for:

- a new ministerial vehicle for the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, at the cost of approximately R1.72 million;

- two new ministerial vehicles for the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, at the cost of approximately R3.0 million; 

- a new ministerial vehicle for the Deputy-Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Buti Manamela, at the cost of approximately R1.97 million; and

- several new ministerial vehicles for the Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Public Service and Administration at the cost of approximately R3.38 million.

But that is not all.

The 2016/17 adjusted budget also includes spending: 

- R950 million on “foreign missions” for the international relations and cooperation department; 

- R95.97 million on “leasing transport aircraft” for the defence department;

- R47.28 million on “guarding services” for the defence department; 

- R32.03 million for “cell phones and data contracts” for the labour department; 

- R18.5 million for “ministerial travel and outreach” at the social development department; 

- R11 million for “VIP protection services” at the police department; 

- R2.1 million for “legal fees” at the presidency;

- R1 million for “office equipment for the minister” at the labour department; 

- R600 000 for the “replacement of office furniture” for the labour department’s attaché in Geneva; and 

- R1 000 for a “traffic fine” at the public enterprises department. 

It is simply wrong to waste money like this.

The fact is: 

- It is not necessary to spend R10.07 million on new ministerial vehicles when with proper maintenance existing vehicles would probably last over the medium term.

- It is not necessary to spend R950 million more on foreign missions when many of them serve no purpose other than to support retired cadres.

- And it is not necessary to spend R47.28 million employing private security companies to guard defence-force facilities when the army is awash with soldiers who have nothing to do.

And that is why we will strongly oppose the more than R1.18 billion of wasteful expenditure we have identified by proposing amendments to the 2016/17 adjusted budget in Parliament.

Issued by David Maynier, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 28 October 2016