Monday, 15 November
The DA in Gauteng has slammed the rise in expenditure on corporate gifts by the Gauteng government, calling it wasteful expenditure in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This after it was revealed the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture, and Recreation spent more than R105 000 on corporate gifts in the 2020/21 financial year, a rise from the R5 553 spent in the 2018/2019 financial year.
Sports, Arts, Culture, and Recreation MEC Mbali Hlophe revealed this in a reply to a question posed in the Gauteng legislature by the DA’s Kingsol Chabalala.
Some of the gifts purchased included R38 000 for Mandela busts, R14 000 on a big five tribal chess set, R12 000 on Ndebele throws, and R12 000 on 3D paintings.
Hlophe said department spent zero on corporate gifts in 2019/2020.
READ | DA vs Gauteng sport, arts and culture department: Who got it right on Covid-19 relief fund?
However, Chabalala said the spending on corporate gifts was shameful because artists were struggling to make a living due of the restrictions placed by pandemic lockdowns.
“This money spent on corporate gifts in the 2020/21 financial year could have been used to pay 17 athletes and artists R6 000 each as part of the Covid-19 relief grant.
“It could have gone a long way to ease the pressure off artists and athletes during these trying times, as the industry has been severely affected by the lockdown restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While we understand the importance of corporate gifts, however, considering the social and economic impact of Covid-19, the department should not have overspent on corporate gifts and considering the suffering of residents during this time, the money should have been channelled in accordance with the department’s core mandate.”
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11 Nov 2019
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