The former Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, who was responsible for the implementation of cost containment measures, and who regularly called for greater efficiency in the use of public funds, should have set an example when it came to belt-tightening in South Africa.
However, it has now emerged [see reply] that a staggering R873 366.68 was blown on international travel for the minister's spouse, Norma Gigaba, who accompanied him on investor roadshows to the financial capitals of the world inter alia in China, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The fact is Norma Gigaba had no official duties on the investor roadshows and taxpayers, who have been pushed to the limit by tax increases, should never have had to cough up for what were, in reality, a series of intercontinental shopping trips.
In the end, even if the expenses are in line with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Handbook it was simply wrong and the minister should do the right thing and "pay back the money" to National Treasury.
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David Maynier MP
DA Shadow Minister of Finance