Min­is­ter spent on prizes, not flow­ers

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

HU­MAN Set­tle­ment Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu said yes­ter­day the R10 mil­lion spent by her de­part­ment on “flow­ers” about three years ago had in fact been cash for prizes for the Go­van Mbeki awards, her spokesper­son Ndi­vhuwo Mabaya said yes­ter­day.

Mabaya said the state­ment is­sued by the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion based on the min­is­ter’s writ­ten re­sponse on the gifts, do­na­tion and spon­sor­ships was mis­lead­ing.

“The state­ment is de­void of truth in stat­ing that the amount was used on flow­ers and gifts for em­ploy­ees,” Mabaya said.

In a re­cent par­lia­men­tary re­ply, Sisulu re­vealed that R10.241m was spent on gifts, do­na­tions and spon­sor­ships in 2013/14. In­cluded were flow­ers for staff mem­bers who had been hos­pi­talised or suf­fered fam­ily be­reave­ments, and gifts when the min­is­ter met for­eign del­e­ga­tions or her coun­ter­parts.

The de­part­ment spent R497 076 in 2014/15 and R45 218 in 2015/16 on do­na­tions, spon­sor­ships and gifts.

The DA’s Solly Malatsi wants Sisulu to fur­nish the names of ben­e­fi­cia­ries. “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,” Malatsi said.

Yes­ter­day, Mabaya said the fund­ing had been spent on spe­cial awards for the best per­form­ing in­sti­tu­tions in govern­ment and de­vel­op­ing con­trac­tors. He said the Go­van Mbeki Awards aimed to en­cour­age and re­in­force a cul­ture of ex­cel­lence in the hous­ing sec­tor.

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