The DA in the Free State objected to the continued spending by the province’s premier, Sisi Ntombela.
Roy Jankielsohn, DA leader in the Free State, described Ntombela’s spending as “insensitive” amid promises in her budget speeches that costs would be cut and the government would act ethically.
In response to a question in the Free State provincial legislature, it appeared that the office of the premier spent more than R214 million on so-called event management services between June 2018 and July 2020.
According to Jankielsohn, four companies got the biggest bite out of this cake: Dots Design Agency received about R59 million, Quail Media-Cubicle Trading JV about R54 million, Thepa Trading almost R61 million and Central Plaza Investments R38 million.
“Spending over 26 months amounts to an average of almost R8 million per month for event management services,” says Jankielsohn.
According to him, this proves that the office of the premier continues to milk taxpayers even after the office was vacated by the former premier, Ace Magashule.
Ntombela said in her 2019 budget speech that more will be done with less in the coming year. The premier undertook that no penny would be wasted, that the provincial government would be accountable for all spending and that austerity measures would be strictly adhered to.
In her latest budget speech, Ntombela said successful growth and development in the province is based on a skilled, ethical and developing state.
“Her spending on event management adds no value to her commitment to reducing waste and meeting people’s expectations. The Free State has added an unemployment rate of 38.4% – 44.5% if jobseekers who have given up hope – as well as growing poverty and hunger, ”says Jankielsohn.
“Given the dire situation in the province, the DA considers this unnecessary expenditure incurred by an incompetent, unethical and insensitive Free State premier at the expense of the poorest of the poor, to be criminal. The excessive amounts of tax money to pay for official government parties create the impression that this money can be misused to finance the ruling party. ”