Faith defends R3.2m splurge
Izimbizos critical, minister argues
Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi insists that the almost R3.2-million spent on izimbizos between April and August this year was properly and fruitfully used.
Muthambi’s spokesman Pfarelo Maduguma said she made unannounced visits to the frontline service delivery points to satisfy herself on the level and/or standard of services offered to citizens.
“The money was properly and fruitfully used to hold Batho Pele izimbizo, which is part of government’s programme of community outreach. Izimbizo play an important role of deepening and consolidating democracy,” said Maduguma.
He said when Muthambi arrived at the department in April many staff members attended izimbizos but this had since been curbed.
Now attendance is only limited to critical staff members who have a role to play during the imbizo, according to Maduguma.
On Wednesday, Sowetan reported that between April and August Muthambi and her deputy Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba spent nearly R3.2-million on izimbizos across the country in their first five months in office.
Muthambi had revealed the figure in a parliamentary reply to EFF MP Leigh-Ann Mathys, who had asked about the izimbizos that her department had held since April, the costs involved and the number of tenders issued for the gatherings.
Maduguma said Muthambi and Letsatsi-Duba’s predecessors also undertook izimbizos as part of a broader directive of the government for political principals to engage directly with communities to improve service delivery and assess challenges. He said this was why Muthambi found a budget approved by her predecessors for izimbizos when she was deployed to the department.