Govt has spent R50m on World Cup tickets - DA

Ian Davidson says Petro SA has blown R12,5m on such purchases

World Cup Tickets: PetroSA spends R12,5 million - total spent now R60-million

A Reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that state corporation PetroSA has spent R12,5 million on World Cup tickets. The total amount of money spent by government departments and public entities on World Cup tickets has now risen to over R50-million. The DA will be writing to the chairperson of the select committee on finance to request that the minister of finance appear, to explain what action the Treasury will take against those responsible for this increasingly large, wasteful and entirely self-indulgent expenditure.

As more information keeps coming to light, it has become glaringly apparent that the directive issued by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to government departments not to spend public money on World Cup tickets has been completely ignored. My colleage Tim Harris, MP, member of the Select Committee on Finance, wrote to the Finance Minister asking him precisely what action was going to be taken against these departments and entities on 15 June, 2010. Today's revelations have only increased the urgency of the need for the Minister to explain to the Portfolio Committee on Finance exactly what action he will be taking to ensure that those who have defied his directives have some measure of disciplinary action taken against them.

The Department of Energy, through PetroSA, joins a shameful list of government departments and state entities that have spent money on World Cup tickets - even while the majority of South Africans either cannot afford to purchase tickets, or have been unable to do so. Expenditure so far includes:

  • Department of Trade and Industry: R 16 738 960 on approximately 3054 tickets
  • Department of Science and Technology: R 25 200 on 10 tickets
  • Department of Tourism: R 918 973 on 180 tickets
  • Department of Public Service and Administration: R 65 400 on 25 tickets
  • Department of Communications: spent R 5.2 million on 2786 tickets
  • Eskom (Department of Public Enterprises): R 12 million on tickets
  • PetroSA (Department of Energy) - R12,5 million on 1000 tickets (revealed today)
  • CEF (Department of Energy) - R1,4 million (revealed today)

These are only the figures that have been released to date. Many government departments have yet to report on their total expenditure for World Cup tickets and the South African public can almost certainly expect more of the same.

PetroSA's spending merely confirms the DA's position that government departments and state entities have no real respect for public funds and seem to have even less respect for the Minister of Finance and his attempts to control government spending.

Most South Africans would have loved the opportunity to watch football games live but have either not been able to afford to do so, or have been unable to obtain tickets through the purchasing process. Meanwhile, PetroSA and the other entities responsible have abused the trust placed in them and the DA thinks that it is only right that they are held to account by the Minister.

Statement issued by Ian Davidson, MP, Democratic Alliance chief whip, June 28 2010

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