Sisulu mum on R10m for flowers
THE official opposition wants Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to name the beneficiaries of the R10 million spent on flowers by her department three years ago.
In a recent parliamentary reply, Sisulu revealed that her department had spent R10.241m on flowers, as gifts or donations in the 2013/14 financial year.
The amount spent by the department had been far less in previous years.
The department spent R497 076 in 2014/15 and R45 218 in 2015/16.
The entities of the department had spent separate amounts. Sisulu said the purchases of flowers was for staff members who were admitted to hospital and their bereaved families.
She, however, said the flowers did not necessarily qualify to be regarded as gifts. “The department also purchases gifts when the minister meets with foreign delegations or her counterparts.”
The DA’s Solly Malatsi said: “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.”
He called for the full list of beneficiaries of the flowers to be made public.
“The DA will continue to hold public officials and state entities who mismanage to account.
“But Sisulu, in her original reply, indicated that she would not provide the names of persons or bodies for whom gifts were bought or who were given donations or sponsorships.”
She stated that a guide on parliamentary questions “prohibits members of Parliament, including the executive, from divulging names of persons or bodies when asking or responding to parliamentary questions”.