South Africa: Govt Spent R4 Bln On Food, Entertainment

Johannesburg — The government spent R4.67 billion on catering, entertainment and travel allowances in 2011, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

The figures emerged from government departments' financial results tabled in parliament over the past few weeks, the newspaper reported.

In the financial year ending on March 31 2012, the 34 state departments incurred the following costs:

  •  R194 million for catering
  •  R31.7 million for entertainment
  •  R4.4 billion for travel and accommodation expenses.

Dion George, DA MP, said expenditure of this kind while the country bled economically was a disgrace, and that it was totally unacceptable to spend such a large sum of money on frivolities.

The three departments responsible for the most spending on entertainment, food and travel expenses were defence (R780 million), the police (R685 million) and justice (R454 million).

The department of defence's travel and accommodation expenses amounted to R733 million.

"The DA will send a formal request to the minister of finance to issue a statement in which government departments are asked to stop spending money on luxuries," George said.

"Wasting money in this manner amounts to negligence, during times in which poor South Africans are struggling to put food on the table."

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