Taxpayer monies wasted on entertainment

Issued by Dianne Kohler-Barnard MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications
10 Jan 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please see attached soundbite by Dianne Kohler-Barnard MP.

While Post Office staff had a miserable festive season with no medical aid, a parliamentary question submitted by the DA revealed that the Department spent over R104 million on entertainment, accommodation, catering and travel.

The department has sat back and facilitated the crumbling of and large-scale corruption and fraud at the South African Post Office (SAPO), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), and various other entities within the department.

The South African Post Office is on the verge of collapse with Post offices closing all over the country, and a Hawks investigation into misappropriation of the employee benefit payments.  At the same time the SABC has shown zero sign of turning its ship around after the its annual report revealed that the corporation incurred R2.8 billion in irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Despite claims it had succeeded, the debt of the SABC is again soaring with a predicted loss of R608 million.

While the Department has failed to succeed in the oversight of these entities, they have rather opted to spend:

  • R 5 766 952.89 on catering
  • R 28 119 012.23 on accommodation
  • R 80 524.75 on entertainment
  • And R 70 610 099.10 on travel

Totalling an amount of R 104 576 588.97 for the past four financial years. Equalling about R26 million per annum.

How does the department justify spending millions on travel, accommodation, entertainment and catering in a period of hard Covid-19 lockdowns?

The DA will immediately submit follow-up questions to the department to find out how exactly that number was reached and why they chose to spend the money on perks rather than on the medical aid of their staff, their pensions, or their UIF.