29 July 2012

South Africa: Government Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is With Catering Expenditure

press release

Government departments are riding a new kind of gravy train.

Replies to parliamentary questions asked by the DA reveal that the national government's total catering and entertainment bill since 2007/08 stands at over R609.7 million.

This is not what people mean when they say that government should put its money where its mouth is.

The departments with the biggest catering and entertainment bills are:

International Relations and Co-operation (over R216.8 million);

Police (over R113.2 million); and

Justice and Constitutional Development (over R48.9 million)

The figures per department are as follows:


Total spending


Catering: R 15 786 432

Entertainment: R 1 032 328

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Catering: R 5 923 000

Entertainment: R 1 067 000

Arts and Culture

Catering: R 13 554 235

Entertainment: R 2 040 429

Basic Education

Catering: R 5 584 000

Entertainment: R261 000


Catering: R 12 081 000

Entertainment: R 606 000

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Catering: R 27 855 921

Entertainment: R 103 000

Economic Development

Catering: R 1 178 663

Entertainment: R 10 452


Catering: R 3 104 102

Entertainment: R 204 460

Higher Education and Training

Catering: R 6 306 532

Entertainment: R 161 275

International Relations and Co-operation

Catering: R 111 183 000

Entertainment: R 105 643 000

Justice and Constitutional Development

Catering: R 46 390 000

Entertainment: R 2 585 000


Catering: R 23 407 000

Entertainment: R 1 632 000


Catering: R 73 447 511

Entertainment: R 39 830 343

Public Enterprises

Catering: R 5 814 000

Entertainment: R 581 000

Public Service and Administration

Catering: R 9 446 166

Entertainment: R 1 656 265

Public Works

Catering: R 12 985 000

Entertainment: R 5 081 000

Rural Development and Land Reform

Catering: R 34 525 938

Entertainment: R 85 113

Science and Technology

Catering: R 7 712 000

Entertainment: R 4 091 000

Social Development

Catering: R 16 410 000

Entertainment: R 2 029 000


Catering: R 853 347

Entertainment: R 184 455

Women, Children and People with Disabilities

Catering: R 7 200 707

Entertainment: R 97 860

In response to the details that have been revealed about government's bloated catering bill, the DA will be:

Submitting questions to the three departments with the biggest bills to determine the reasons for their high spending;

Submitting questions to the Minister of Finance to determine what steps Treasury is taking to reign in wasteful spending on departmental catering and entertainment; and

Asking oral questions to each of the ministers that have not yet replied to our questions about their department's catering and entertainment spending, so that they can explain the size of their department's bill to Parliament in person.

This government would rather splash cash on cocktails and canapes than fund the delivery of basic services to South Africans living in poverty. It's time for President Zuma to trim the fat and spend public money on the poor.

Watty Watson, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance

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