EC TRANSPORT DEPT TO SPONSOR R1,6M FOR ANC EVENTS

The provincial Department of Transport is to spend R1,650 million on ANC commemorative events in this financial year.  This again shows how the ANC are abusing power by attempting to use public money for their own activities.

While the amount involved may seem small compared to a proposed budget of R945 million for the department, there is a principle at stake that public money not be used to fund party political activities.

The amount to be spent is for Youth Month, 55th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, Women’s Month, and 50th anniversary of Sharpville.

What is suspicious is that the amount is “hidden” in events such as International Women’s day, Children’s’ Day and for the World Conference on Women.

In addition, an amount of R250 000 has been budgeted for “Build up to Institutionalised Days” while the amount of R1,650 million is tabled as “Honouring of Institutionalised and Commemorative days”.

When this matter was raised by the opposition during a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Transport today, (subs: Fri, 30 Apr) I asked who authorised that this amount be inserted in the budget and why.

In response the Head of Department was unable to answer but merely stated that this was a case of “human error.”

The deliberate case of budgeting money for political events in a public provincial budget is not human error but an attempt to use public money to channel to a political party for their own purposes.

Other concerns raised by opposition parties at the meeting were the previous awarding by provincial transport for commemorative events, only being allowed for use by ANC activists.

While we applaud the stance of the chairperson of the committee, also condemning this proposed expenditure, it is serious that officials saw it fit to abuse their power by requesting this amount in the budget.

The committee resolved that a letter be written to Transport MEC Ghishma Barry to explain this expenditure to the committee. I insisted that this be answered by the MEC at the next meeting of the committee on 6 May 2010.

The DA will also insist that the appropriate amounts of money be withdrawn from the budget and that disciplinary action be taken against the department officials concerned.

For further information, please contact Dacre Haddon, MPL on 079 694 3788