Smaller helpings of gravy all round, please

Staff Writer | Jun 13, 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s regulations on limiting luxury spending at municipal level, but recommends the same for all levels of government.

‘Cost containment’ should apply to all levels of government, and there should be ‘real consequences’ for any breaches, says DA Shadow Minister of Finance Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The regulations gazetted by Mboweni now forbid business-class flights, expensive cars, free booze and year-end parties for mayors and all municipal officials and politicians.

Hill-Lewis said in a statement: ‘Stricter cost containment measures should be extended to all spheres of government and state-owned entities, and there should be real consequences for failure to abide by them.

‘With many new Ministers and Deputy Ministers, there will be a slew of expensive new car orders, office revamps and home renovations. These should be stopped now.’

Hill-Lewis said the DA implemented cost-cutting measures 10 years ago in governments it ran ‘by writing a new and more austere Cabinet Handbook, and by limiting the cost of vehicles and extending their use’.

He warned Mboweni that reversing the ‘pattern of inefficient consumption spending’ by national and provincial politicians and officials ‘will not be easy’.

For this reason, ‘an extensive expenditure review needs to be conducted’.

‘This will improve expenditure efficiency and will help ensure that tax money is spent on improving the lives of South Africans through service delivery, social and capital investment,’ he said.

Hill-Lewis added that the DA would ask the Presidency for a progress report on the updated ministerial handbook, a guide for ministerial spending.

‘Unfortunately, the current ministerial handbook allows for public money to be abused,’ he said.


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