South Africa’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) counseled the Department of human Settlements (DHS) to stop wasting millions on workshops and build homes for South Africans.
DA’s counsel follows the revelation that the department and seven of its entities spent almost R5 million on workshops and conferences between 2014 and 2016.
The revelation was made in a written reply DHS offered to a DA parliamentary question.
Specifying that DHS was the biggest spender in this regard, DA indicated that it is not opposed to government officials receiving training and learning to improve their skills to provide services to South Africans.
“However,” DA said, “upon closer examination, these workshops and conferences show a clear duplication and a tendency for hosting these events at luxury hotels and lodges such as 15 on Orange in Cape Town.”
With that, the party asserted that “the exorbitant expenditure on these events, during a period where National Treasury continuously warned against spending on non-essential services, appears reckless and financially imprudent.
“(It) is quite frankly, a slap in the face of the poor. The R4.8 million spent on these workshops in total could have provided 40 RDP houses to those in need.”
Afterwards, the party disclosed that it will write to Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to find out the austerity measures she initiated as part of National Treasury’s cost-cutting initiatives.
“After 23 years of democracy millions of South Africans still do not own title-deeds, yet the department responsible for building homes for our people would rather waste money on luxury hotels and lodges,” DA wailed.
Also, DA welcomed the court interdict that stopped the strike by cabin crew employed at South African Airways.
But then, the party upheld that the strike was a symptom of a much deeper crisis at South African Airways.
“The fact is that Dudu Myeni, who behaves less like a chairperson, and more like a ‘corporate warlord’, has run the national airline into the ground, and bankrupted South African Airways,” proclaimed DA.