Treating fifty secretaries from the Department of Transport to a three night stay at the Wild Coast Sun at an estimated cost of R325 000 to celebrate Secretaries’ Day is a wild extravaganza which cannot be tolerated in a province plagued by so many needs. This illustrates that the governing party is out of touch with reality.

This amount could be the tip of the iceberg if other departments have done the same.

While so many are living in dire poverty in this province the people who authorised this event should hang their heads in shame.

It is been suggested that they received expensive gifts as well.

This province is going to face budget cuts as a result of the decline in tax revenues what funds we have need to be directed towards core business of the province. With over 700 000 people having lost their jobs in South Africa this year many of whom are in this province the needs have never been greater.

When we should be tightening our belts in the context of the current recession so we can focus on core business the Department is wasting money on a jaunt.

Unfortunately under the former premier Balindlela a dangerous precedent was set when fifty secretaries were entertained on the luxury liner Rhapsody in 2006 at a cost of over R300 000.

If the Department of Transport has engaged in this kind of outrageous wastage of taxpayers’ money it is likely that other departments have done the same.

The DA will not let this matter rest. I will be asking a question to every department to determine how much each department spent on Secretaries’ Day including gifts. Once this information is received the DA will consider future action which could result in each department having to appear before legislature committee to account for misuse of taxpayers’ funds.

The Democratic Alliance is not opposed to some recognition being given to secretaries who form a vital part of any organization. In contrast to the estimated R6 500 head for the Department of Transport secretaries, the DA Bhisho secretaries had a R65 a head lunch.

For further information, please contact Bobby Stevenson, MPL on 0827753444