The DA’s exposé on the massive amount of funds spent on catering – R87, 197 million – in the last financial year has reverberated throughout Bhisho and has been a talking point in portfolio committee meetings.
In some instances it was found that departments had spent more on catering than on staff development, this is according to aDA analysis of the latest annual reports of departments.
A document was tabled explaining what was spent for example in the portfolio committee of Safety and Liason it was found that R1, 163 million was spent on catering while a mere R262, 000 was spent on staff development. Other departments which received high expenditures on catering include Local Government (catering R3, 446 million; staff development R1, 786 million), Social Development (catering R7, 017 million: staff development R3, 638 million), Office of the Premier (catering R4, 942 million: staff development R1, 103 million) and Legislature (catering R6, 889 million: staff development R1, 401 million), whilst the Department of Education spent a whopping R39, 44 million on catering and R40, 347 million on staff development.
The total amount spent on staff development in all departments was R107, 569 million.
I will be asking follow-up questions to the different departments to ascertain what the nature of the catering expenditure was. In light of the exposé of the Premier of the Northern Cape and her expenditure of R53 159 on take-aways in 10 weeks, we will specifically be asking what was spent in the Eastern Cape at franchised fast food outlets and restaurants.
The DA’s continued exposure of such wasteful expenditures on provincial and national level has resulted in Pravin Gordhan’s recent clamp down on catering and flights.
He said: “Funds should be allocated and utilised for the core business of local, provincial and national government and not on ‘nice-to-haves’”.