The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has come in defence of its R1.5 million five star trip despite country’s economic woes.
A recent report has it that the SA electoral commission forked out over one million rand which it spent on a four-day workshop at a five-star hotel and spa at the African Pride Mount Grace Country House and Spa where rates range from R1,862 – R4,100 per night.
According to the report, the commission spent R1.2 million on room bookings alone and that close to 120 IEC delegates attended the workshop, with many having to take flights to Joburg before moving on to the hotel in the North West.
Reacting to this, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) spokesperson Marco Granelli said the commission selected the five-star hotel because they had negotiated a package deal, adding that the rate was in line with Treasury regulations.
Granelli said that IEC chief executive Mosotho Moepya had wanted to postpone the workshop due to ‘cash-flow problems’ but unfortunately, the postponement wasn’t possible without considering cost implications including a 100% cancellation fee.
Hence, the CEO decided that the workshop should proceed as scheduled to avoid fruitless expenditure.
Meanwhile, the IEC is going through financial difficulties after it spent R250 million that had not been planned for in its 2016 municipal elections, after the Constitutional Court ruling that ordered that it must provide addresses for registered voters.
Sources said there wasn’t much money left in the IEC’s bank account last week and that the bulk of what was remaining was used to pay the employees’ November salaries.
This comes as the SA auditor general, Kimi Makwetu warned against an increased waste of the public fund as it criticised the Presidency for failing to set an example on good governance.
Makwetu singled out continued non-compliance with supply chain management legislation as the main reason for the increase in irregular expenditure.
He said the controls that should be put in place in the procurement process were derived from the constitutional requirements of supply chain management as set out in section 217 of the Constitution.