Minister spent on prizes, not flowers
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.