It has been revealed that the Department of Human Settlements spent over R10 million on flowers and gifts.
This revelation was made in the answers to the Parliamentary questions the Democratic Alliance (DA) party directed at the Department.
As exposed in the reply to DA questions, the Department spent more than R10 million on flowers and gifts for employees, in the 2013-14 financial year.
Reacting to this revelation, DA pointed out that the over R10 million spent on flower and gifts could have been used to alleviated housing backlog.
The party said it will submit further Parliamentary questions in order to get more details about the department’s financial irresponsibility from the Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.
“Minister Sisulu and her department need to explain why such an excessive amount of money was spent on gifts when it could have been used to address the housing backlog and could have built 100 RDP houses.
“She must also make public the full list of people who benefited from the R10 million,” DA charged.
DA’s Shadow Minister of Human Settlements Solly Malatsi MP said the party won’t stop holding public officials and state entities who mismanage to account. Hear him:
You should know that the 2017/2018 budget for human settlements and municipal infrastructure increased by almost 9% to R195.8 billion. It is leading all the budget increases in other key government expenditure.
When the budget was presented, the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan argued that the increase was necessary and, will be sustained in the next three years to fast-track the provision of adequate housing for the poor.
Gordhan’s plan was to focus spending on housing, public transport and improving access to water, sanitation and electricity.
Then, analysts acknowledged that the increased expenditure on housing provision will benefit many lower-income families. Nonetheless, it was specified that it won’t make any strong impact on the country’s housing backlog over the short term.
References were made to SA Institute of Race Relations’ latest stats which estimated the country’s housing backlog at around 2 million units.
While it was indicated that the figure is more than the estimated deficit of 1.5 million houses in 1994, it was also identified that informal settlements have climbed from an estimated 300 to over 2,000 between 1994 to 2016.