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Offline alanB

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Government wasting tax payers money
« on: December 05, 2013, 12:16:05 pm »
The whole argument from the government regarding etolls is that there is  no other way to pay for the freeway upgrade and maintenance.

The minister of finance stood up in parliament and said in passionate tones, almost tearing his clothes saying "the fiscus could not stand it!".

But EVERY SINGLE DAY there is an article in the press about how the government just keeps pissing away our money through lavish spending on them selves, incompetence (ie appoint some twit into a position at some ludicrously high salary, and then he either makes stupid decisions, costing money, or they need to hire "consultants" at even more ludicrous fee structures to do his job for him/her), etc etc.


So I would submit our country SHOULD EASILY BE ABLE TO PAY FOR ALL INFRASTRUCTURE OUT OF EXISTING TAXES WITHOUT ANY NEED TO INCREASE THE FUEL LEVY OR IMPOSE TOLLS!


All they need to do is do their jobs and eliminate wasteful expenditure or fraud and corruption.  If they just put half the effort they did into that instead all the time and effort in forcing through etolls, they would have paid for the roads ALREADY plus be a few billion in the black over and above that! ( we are wasting 25bn a year according to their own report from 2012, so by now they could have paid for the freeway improvements and have 20 odd billion in the bank spare!) 

When etolls were first announced I started collecting press releases which showed this.  It quickly became quite a big job on its own and stopped after a while  but I thought it might be useful to creat a place just to drop these articles to remind ourselves from time to time why the whole thing is just so wrong!

A few guidelines:
1) Please copy and paste the actual article, not the link, because the links will eventually go dead.
2) Include the source, date  and person who wrote the article - so that the source is clear and we give due acknowledgement to the publishers and author.
3) Stick to info in the public domain.

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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 12:18:27 pm »
The governments report on wasteful/lost/stolen etc expenditure.

R25bn PER YEAR!

Quote
axpayers didn't get value for R25bn
2012-01-16 16:38
Xolani Mbanjwa

Johannesburg - Auditor General Terence Nombembe has unearthed R25bn in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in national and provincial government departments in the 2010/2011 financial year.

Nombembe, who expressed concern about the financial controls in public sector spending, said this was an increase of R2.3bn compared with the previous financial year - because of his office's increased "scrutiny" of taxpayers’ money.

The exact figure of R25.445bn includes the spending of government entities such as Eskom and the SA National Roads Agency Limited.

Addressing reporters in Pretoria this morning Nombembe said he felt the most discomfort about the area of financial reporting, where government officials failed to record the correct amounts spent.

He said financial information was often corrected by his own officials during the auditing process at the end of the financial year.

While national and provincial departments, including entities, reported R13.7bn in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful spending in their annual reports, the AG found a further R11.7bn through the final auditing processes.

Nombembe said financial managers should be trained to be able to report on finances correctly before all spheres of government could reach the target of clean audits by 2014.

"It (correct financial reporting) is the single and sole factor that will make clean audits in SA a reality. The role of the ministers, premiers, MECs, portfolio committees and Scopa [the standing committee on public accounts] is important,” said Nombembe.

One of the "biggest weaknesses" in government as a whole was the effectiveness of information technology systems and controls, said Nombembe.

The AG report shows that at provincial government level irregular expenditure - incurred in contravention of national laws - was the biggest culprit at R16.8bn, followed by unauthorised expenditure (overspending on certain projects) at R2.9bn while fruitless and wasteful expenditure (spending in vain, which could have been avoided) stood at R850m.

At national government level irregular expenditure was R4.5bn, fruitless and wasteful expenditure R593m and unauthorised expenditure was R802m.

Nombembe expressed concern that most government departments did not understand the requirements for meeting service delivery objectives and that departments were apparently deliberately not reporting their finances accordingly.

"Financial reporting is the biggest area of concern where there is [a] supply chain. This is where we still find a number of omissions by departments in adhering to departmental norms.

"Once again it’s an area, to a large extent, that does need to be given attention because there’s constant deviation. It doesn’t mean money has been lost, just that due processes are not embarked upon by government departments," said Nombembe.

He was also concerned with the high vacancy rate and called on government to employ skilled people who have an understanding of the basic accounting principles.

But Nombembe was pleased that senior government officials including the executive had committed themselves to improving the state of financial reporting and controls in the public sector.

He warned that unless the executive rise to the occasion and monitor financial controls in their respective departments Operation Clean Audit, set for 2014, would not be a reality.
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 12:19:47 pm »
Quote
ANC funds ‘used for wrong purpose’

December 4 2013 at 12:04pm
By Natasha Bezuidenhout

Comment on this story
Copy of IOL pic sep16 rsa bank notes

Reuters

File photo

Cape Town - Fired ANC parliamentary staffers have claimed in the Labour Court that the party diverted statutory funds to finance its 2009 election campaign.

At the time the ANC caucus retrenched 89 staff members.

Fifteen employees took the party to court for alleged unfair dismissal.

On Tuesday, advocate Alec Freund, representing the staffers, questioned former ANC chief whip Nyami Booi in the Labour Court on statutory funds allegedly diverted to pay Oryx Media a total of R7.4 million to, among other things, assist with the party’s election campaign.

R15.6m was allegedly also diverted for accommodation and travelling.

Freund told the court that party constituency allowances and party administration funds were not supposed to be used for election and advertising.

“The funds were used for graffiti, floppy hats, airfares and hotels,” said Freund.


Booi said it would have been brought to his attention if the funds had been diverted and “that he was not aware of it”.

Freund submitted in court that Booi may be party to yet another offence.

In 2009, Booi was one of 31 MPs who pleaded guilty to abusing parliamentary travel warrants in the so-called Travelgate saga.

At the time he was fined R50 000 (or five years’ jail), and given until January 2014 to pay the money in monthly instalments of R1 000.

Booi told the court that Freund did not know what he was talking about and had no knowledge of how Parliament’s system runs.

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he never worked for Parliament and I don’t want to engage with someone who has never worked for Parliament and doesn’t know how its systems work.”

Booi denied any knowledge of the figures spent on travelling expenditure which included hotel accommodation, flights and rental cars.

The case continues.

natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 12:22:56 pm by alanB »
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 12:25:20 pm »
Quote
Welcome aboard the gravy train
2011-09-18 19:00

Jacques Pauw, City Press

Johannesburg - If you are a public servant and want to get rich, join the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

A City Press investigation has revealed that the agency’s staff will earn an average salary of R517 000 each this financial year, prompting one of its directors to admit that it was nothing more than an ANC Youth League-dominated “gravy train”.

The investigation has shown that NYDA staff earn on average significantly more than most of the employees of 14 other similar public entities surveyed.

The agency also leaves other government departments in the shade in terms of average costs per job.

The NYDA, shrouded in controversy after it spent R100m on a youth festival in December last year and over the close links of its staff with the youth league, will receive R1.2bn over the next three years from the Treasury.

Treasury national budget documents show that each of the agency’s 339 staff members earned R430 000 on average last year.

The Treasury allocated R187.5m for salaries for 363 staff members for the current financial year: an average salary of R517 000 per employee.

'Errors'

NYDA chief executive Steven Ngubeni, whose yearly income of R1.8m is the same as that of a Cabinet minister, charged that City Press’ information, which was published by the Treasury and signed off by the Presidency, was “fraught with errors and misconception”.

Ngubeni said that in the previous financial year, the agency had 433 people – 94 more posts than were approved in the Treasury documents – and had paid them an average of R322 269 yearly.

But NYDA director Francois Slabber conceded to City Press that managers in the agency earn “far too much”.

Asked whether the agency was a gravy train, he said: “It had all the potential not to be one, but it is one now.”

Slabber, an independent board member, gets a yearly stipend of R378 000 for spending about five days a month on agency business, although he says it is “sometimes more”.

Slabber said since 2009 the agency had lost several of its “brightest stars” who are currently being replaced with “ANC
Youth League members who are not such bright stars”.

The chief operations officer of the agency, 33-year-old Magdalene Moonsamy, earns R1.2m. She is also a youth league spokesperson.

The agency’s chairperson, Andile Lungisa, earns R790 000 a year. He is also an executive member of the youth league and its former deputy president.

Until recently Ngubeni was the deputy secretary general of the league.

Discrepancies

City Press attempted to determine the discrepancies between the Treasury figures provided by the Presidency and Ngubeni’s figures.

The Presidency referred enquiries to the agency. Ngubeni said the Treasury did not determine their budget for them.

A Treasury spokesperson said that the accounting officers of public entities did have discretion on the use of appropriated funds, but the agency would have to account for why there was a change in what they had signed off on.

This was in terms of what had been planned for personnel and what the audited outcome was.

NYDA employees earn on average more than most public servants in national departments, but Ngubeni said a fairer comparison would be with similar public entities.

City Press obtained the figures for 14 entities from published Treasury documents.

For the current financial year, only Competition Commission employees have a higher average salary than the agency’s staff - R574 000 yearly compared to the agency’s R517 000.

The NYDA’s average salary was larger than that of agencies like the national credit regulator, Nedlac, the CSIR, Productivity SA and the National Gambling Board, among others .

- City Press
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 12:26:03 pm »
Quote
Suspect tenders of R3bn at public works
2011-09-19 15:24

Johannesburg - An investigation by the department of public works (DPW), in partnership with the special investigation unit, has revealed a number of serious irregularities in the award of certain tenders granted by the department, the minister of public works, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, disclosed on Monday.

Criminal charges were likely to be brought against several department officials and others outside the department, she said.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said in a statement that since she took office ten months ago, she had been investigating a number of tenders awarded by the department.

"After I was appointed I discovered that the ANC, the government, and the people of South Africa had been let down by dishonest officials in the DPW; I was inadvertently handed a poisoned chalice," she said.

"I inherited a situation where serious irregularities had occurred. It was extraordinarily difficult to get to the truth of what had been taking place because some officials did everything they could to obstruct my investigations.

"Frankly, I have been lied to and deceived by people who instead of serving the people of South Africa were intent on lining their own pockets.

"We know of more than 40 cases where tenders were awarded improperly, where proper procedures were not followed and dishonesty took place. We have confirmed to date that tenders with a value of more than R3bn have been affected.

"Because we are still investigating we cannot be sure that we have yet discovered all of the wrong doing. We will involve law enforcement agencies within the public service and the criminal justice cluster in the hope that the wrong-doers will be brought to justice."

The minister said that the situation had overshadowed the good work the department did.

"It is sad that the public focus will now be on criminal activities instead of what has been achieved thanks to the hard work of many of our officials."

She added that she was in the process of strengthening her team to ensure the people of South Africa are better served.

"Under the circumstances it would be unrealistic to expect that the department will be given a clean bill of health by the auditor general. We know of irregular expenditure, what appears to be false book keeping and have discovered evidence of corruption by DPW officials.

"I cannot undo what was done in the past but I can assure South Africa that its government will not tolerate corruption and dishonesty. It will take me many months to unravel all that has happened but it will be done."

The minister said an urgent priority was to ensure that the process when leasing properties was tightened up and consistently applied.

"I cannot wave a magic wand and cure the ills of corruption overnight.

"What has to be done is for the department to become more vigilant in ensuring that proper tender procedures are followed. I would also like to see the justice system send a message to corrupt officials by handing down stiff penalties for those found guilty of white collar crime."
- I-Net Bridge (News24)
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 12:30:05 pm »
Quote
Concern over city managers' pay
2011-09-19 14:14

Johannesburg - Reports that city managers earned salaries comparable to senior political leaders warrant transparent performance agreements, the DA said on Monday.

"The Johannesburg city manager [Mavela Dlamini], for instance, earns R2.3m a year, which is higher than Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe," said Democratic Alliance Gauteng spokesperson Fred Nel.

Dlamini also had a better income than newly appointed Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng who earned R2.2m a year, he said.

The Sowetan reported on Monday that the only public official earning more than Dlamini was President Jacob Zuma with R2.5m annually.

Following Dlamini was eThekwini manager Mike Sutcliffe (R2.1m), Ekurhuleni manager Khaya Ngema (R1.8m) and City of Cape Town manager Achmat Ebrahim (R1.7m).

Nel said: "Publishing their performance contracts will allow citizens to see what is expected from top municipal officials who are paid with their rates and taxes."

This would also allow analysts to evaluate whether the performance agreements were in line with each municipality's service delivery strategy, he said.

"If ministers' agreements with the president can be published then so should that of municipal managers."

Outrage

The SA Municipal Workers’ Union said exorbitant salaries were at the expense of suffering workers and communities.

"It is absurd that these managers get paid millions, even though the municipalities they work for are plagued with corruption, nepotism, crisis and the poor delivery of services," the union said in a statement.

"The severity of the challenges faced by many municipalities warrants many of these managers to be sacked, let alone receive handsome remunerations and performance bonuses."

It said once workers, some who earned as little as R4 000 a month, learnt of their employers' salaries, nothing less than outrage would be expected.

"Workers deserve nothing less than a decent living wage and their managers far less than what they are currently getting."

Co-operative government spokesperson Vuyelwa Quinga Vika referred queries to the SA Local Government Association (Salga), which was not immediately in a position to comment.

- SAPA
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 12:30:48 pm »
Quote
Suspended officials paid almost R100m
2011-09-22 22:30

Cape Town - Government departments and entities have paid at least R93.6m to senior officials suspended with pay from April 2009 to the present, the Democratic Alliance said on Thursday.

"The actual figure is certainly much higher, but is difficult to ascertain precisely because many departments have not answered the DA's parliamentary questions on this," spokesperson Ena van Schalkwyk said.

In the 2009/10 financial year, 192 officials on salary scale 11 or above were placed on suspended leave with full pay, she said in a statement.

Another 173 had been suspended with full pay since that time, totalling 365 officials.

This amounted to an average of R257 000 paid to each official while on suspension.

"Nearly R100m has been paid to senior managers who have received full salaries despite not working," Van Schalkwyk said.

Innocent until proven guilty

Most of these officials received their salaries while awaiting the outcome of their disciplinary hearings. It was not clear how many of them were fired after the investigations were concluded and how many were retained. The DA would ask follow-up questions to find out.

Top of the list was the SA Social Security Agency paying R8 399 462, followed by the correctional services department on R6 751 607, and the rural development and land reform department on R5 800 979.

"Of course it is right that officials should not be punished financially just because they have been accused of wrongdoing. People must be considered innocent until proven guilty.

"However, we cannot have a situation where suspended officials wait for months on end with full pay before the disciplinary measures against them are finalised."

South Africa could not afford to keep errant public servants on the payroll while government departments dragged their feet. The quicker these matters were dealt with, the more money there would be for service delivery, Van Schalkwyk said.

- SAPA
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 12:32:11 pm »
Quote
Presidency spends R61m on travel - DA
2011-09-01 19:09

Johannesburg - The presidency has spent over R61m on travel and subsistence in the 2010/11 year, the Democratic Alliance says.

The party was commenting on the presidency's 2010/11 Annual Report, released on Thursday.

According to the DA's Athol Trollip, the report indicated that the presidency had "excelled at increasing the size of its budget, but not the quality of its performance."

Trollip said that between 2009/10 and 2010/11, the presidency's expenditure had increased by 74%.

However, according to the Auditor General's report, even the most basic regulatory processes were still not being followed, Trollip added.

"Despite spending over R61m on travel and subsistence, and almost R500m on the largely ANC Youth League-controlled National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), over the last financial year the presidency was unable to develop a satisfactory strategic plan, or implement sufficient performance monitoring procedures.

"How did this happen, given that the presidency includes the department of performance monitoring and evaluation, which is supposed to evaluate the performance of the entire national government?"

Trollip said the greatest impediment to the presidency's improved performance was the absence of regular oversight by a dedicated portfolio committee.

"Without constant parliamentary scrutiny to keep the department on the right track, the disjuncture between its vast budget and its underwhelming contribution to improving government performance will continue."

More than a year ago, Trollip proposed that a presidential portfolio committee be established to oversee the activities of the Presidency.

"The ANC has subsequently sought to bury this proposal in Parliament.

"I will be using the opportunity presented by today's release of the Presidency's annual report - and the concerning trends this report highlights - to put this proposal back on the parliamentary agenda."

Furthermore, Trollip would be submitting a series of questions to President Jacob Zuma and Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane about areas of concern raised by the auditor general, and to interrogate the reasons for the Presidency's significant expenditure increase over the past financial year.
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2013, 12:33:08 pm »
Quote
Govt corruption: R30bn could be lost - SIU
2011-10-12 22:46

Cape Town - The head of both the special investigating unit and the asset forfeiture unit said on Wednesday the country could lose as much as 20% of its total procurement budget to graft annually, in response to a question about the extent of government corruption in South Africa.

"I think that may not be an unrealistic estimate," Willie Hofmeyr told Parliament's justice committee, adding that it translated to between R25bn and R30bn.

The SIU was currently investigating 558 procurement contracts to the value of R1.9bn and 360 cases of conflict of interest where R3.4bn was involved.

Hofmeyr said the fight against corruption was hindered by a shortage of investigators and the low rate of criminal convictions of officials found with their fingers in the till.

"We should have 7 000 people whose job it is to investigate corruption and I think we have 700.

"Our policies are pretty good but if there are not consequences for breaching them... a culture of impunity spreads pretty quickly."

Hofmeyr welcomed the cancellation of the flawed lease contracts with Roux Shabangu for new police headquarters but went on to highlight further problems in the police and public works departments.

"From the kind of things we have found the SAPS leases are not an uncommon practice elsewhere."

SIU investigations have shown that public works paid at least R35m to entities where staff held undeclared interests and were investigating irregularities to the tune of R330mlinked to the building and renovation of 33 police stations.

However, he said, the worst leeching of taxpayers' money was not happening at national level.

"Local government is where the problems are the worst and where oversight mechanisms are the least."

Asked about the implications of the Constitutional Court judgment in the Glenister case, Hofmeyr said if a central anti-corruption agency were created he would like the SIU to be part of it and believed the Hawks also had a central role to play.

"There isn't really a centre from which government's anti-corruption efforts are driven. I think there is a bit of a gap there. The Glennister judgment is an urgent issue that needs to be resolved soon," he said.

"If there is a new corruption unit set up we would like very much to be part of it."

The court found that the legislation that created the Hawks did not give the unit enough independence and gave Parliament 18 months to amend it.

Funding trouble

The special investigating unit ran into severe funding trouble this year when Eskom established that legally it may not be paid by state entities that solicit its help, MPs heard.

He told the justice committee the corruption-busting entity had expected to earn R240m from such agreements but instead had to turn to Treasury to tide it over.

"We are getting an additional R97m from Treasury this year," he told MPs.

Hofmeyr said the SIU was alerted to the problem by Eskom in June after the electricity utility had asked it to probe "corporate governance issues", notably persistent problems surrounding its coal supply contracts.

He said the SIU obtained two legal opinions which confirmed that provided by Eskom, upsetting a 7-year-old practice that had seen it accepted remuneration from a range of state entities.

"We got our own legal opinion at the end of June and then a second opinion that confirmed it and accepted we have got a problem," he said.

"Basically, we are not allowed to charge departments for our services. Everybody was a bit blind-sided by this issue."

Hofmeyr mentioned the matter in a briefing on the SIU's annual report.

He said the unit had not wanted to make it public until it was confident of finding both long and short term solutions because it did not want its staff to fear for their jobs, he said.

An amendment to the SIU Act that would make such payments legitimate is in the pipeline, Hofmeyr said. At present, the legislation is silent on the issue.

- SAPA
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 12:34:07 pm »
Quote
Minister’s bills of luxurious hotels

24 Oct 2011

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has spent 174 days staying at luxury hotels in Johannesburg and Cape Town.


Big-spender, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has spent 174 days staying at luxury hotels in Johannesburg and Cape Town and managed to survive President Jacob Zuma's cabinet reshuffling today.
The Minister has only been in the office for two days and lived luxuriously in hotels despite having official residences in both areas.

This came to light on Monday in answers to a Parliamentary question by her opposite number, Lourie Bosman, in the official opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The cost to the taxpayer for the stays has totaled R1.6 million or R1 700 per stay, as Joemat-Pettersson chalked up stays in Peermont D'Oreale Grande Emperor's Palace in Gauteng, the Hydro Executive Apartments in Johannesburg, and Cape Town luxury hotels the Vineyard and The Table Bay.

Joemat-Pettersson, who is a member of the SA Communist Party, is one of the ministers in government's high court application to have more stringent conditions for the entry of giant US retailer Wal-Mart into the local market.

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest company has a strict code of conduct for its executives when they travel on corporate business.

They have to fly economy class, share hotel rooms and hire the lowest cost vehicles.

Other ministers who have declared themselves hostile to Wal-Mart's entry are Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and Trade & Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Bosman said: "I feel it is very ironic that Joemat-Pettersson is staying in these high cost hotels while she is opposing the Wal-Mart deal and they set the example on how to keep costs down. I find this all very bizarre."

According to the reply sent by Joemat-Pettersson's office, she spent:

- 36 days at a cost of R135 000 at the Vineyard Hotel and Spa in Cape Town in July/August 2009

- 36 days costing R290 000 at the Peermont D’Oreal Grande Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng in Sept/Oct 2009

- 28 days costing R420 000 at the Pure Toys One in Jun/Jul 2010

Expensive stays include:

- R15 000 at the Intercontinental at OR Tambo in Ekurhuleni Gauteng for one day in January 2010

- R24 000 at the Hydro Executive Apartments in Johannesburg for four days in June

- R10 629 at the Intercontinental OR Tambo for one day in April 2011

The answer then detailed double-booked stays:

- having paid to stay at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, she stayed at the Peermont D’Oreal Grande Emperor’s Palace in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng for three nights between 16 to 19 June in 2009

- having paid to stay at the Intercontinental at OR Tambo International, she stayed at the 5-Star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on 12 April 2011

Pretoria stays:

- Sheraton Pretoria for three nights in May 2009 for R15 000

- Aluane Town Lodge for 31 days between May and June 2009 for R41 000

- Aluane Town Lodge for 31 days in October 2009 for R35 910 - Paul Vecchiatto I-Net-Bridge
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2013, 12:34:31 pm »
FML!  :deal:  :xxbah: ;) :sip:
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Offline alanB

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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 12:35:00 pm »
Quote
R3.6m a month for empty building for dept
2011-08-04 14:15

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance is referring a justice and constitutional development department building lease to the auditor general to investigate, it said on Thursday.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe had confirmed in written reply to a parliamentary question that the public works department had leased a building in Pretoria for use by his department at a rental of R3.662m a month, DA spokesperson Debbie Schafer said in a statement.

"Rental has been paid since January 1 2010 and the building will only be occupied by November 30 2011 as they are still 'busy with the required tenant installations'.

"Thus, over a period of 23 months, an amount of R84 235 816.63 will have been paid to lease a building that has been empty for most of that time," she said.

An additional R150 000 had been paid since April on security services for the empty building.

'Shameful waste of money'

This was a "shameful waste of money and yet another example of irresponsible financial management" by the public works department.

Schafer said she intended posing additional parliamentary questions to determine why it was necessary for the justice department to lease a new building, and why it was rented at this not insignificant amount of money when it was "apparently unsuitable for use".

In addition, it was necessary to know what kind of work needed to be done to the building, which would be quite extensive if it had not yet been completed after 18 months, and who was paying for it.

This latest revelation was reminiscent of the police lease deal saga, where inflated rentals were agreed to by the public works department for buildings yet to be renovated.

An investigation into that deal by the public protector found that both Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and Police Commissioner Bheki Cele were guilty of conduct that was improper, unlawful, and amounted to maladministration.

"Depending on the answers received to my questions on the justice department lease this matter may also require investigation by the public protector.

"In the meantime, I shall refer it to the auditor general to investigate the seemingly fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred to date," Schafer said.

- SAPA
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 12:35:43 pm »
Quote
Where's the money going, school body asks
2011-10-26 20:56

Bloemfontein - The government should find out what was happening to money budgeted for basic education, a school governing body said on Wednesday.

"The national government has put its money where its mouth is, but now we have to determine why the money disappears into a bottomless pit," said the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools (Fedsas).

"The money must reach the schools."

Fedsas is a voluntary association of public scool governing bodies, claming to represent some 1 260 schools.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presented his 2011 medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Fedsas deputy CEO Jaco Deacon said money budgeted for basic education, R231bn over the next three years, confirmed the national government was serious about education.

The problem was to determine what this money was spent on because parents had to pay an additional R10bn per year to fund salaries for additional staff.

"Fedsas applauds minister Gordhan’s continued commitment to and support of education, despite the fact that the system was underperforming," said Deacon.

He said some schools in Limpopo had not received a cent from their provincial government the past year.

In the Free State the education department sent a letter to schools to explain that there was not enough money for reimbursement for exemption of school fees, despite regulations in this regard.

Fedsas said such examples suggested a misappropriation of education money.

The governing body said the focus should not necessarily be on the funds available for education, but rather on how this money was used.

Deacon welcomed money made available for the continuation and expansion of the annual national assessments.

"This was a positive step because these results are the only real measure of the success of the system."

- SAPA
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2013, 12:36:37 pm »
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DA: President's new jet an extravagance
2011-11-06 15:3

Sapa

Johannesburg - The R1.6bn that the state is expected to spend on two new long range jets for the President Jacob Zuma and his deputy is "simply wrong", the DA said on Sunday.

"The fact is that it is simply wrong to spend R1.6bn on business jets when millions of people in our country do not have housing, health or access to basic services," Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier said in a statement.

The department of defence confirmed that a tender was out for the purchase of two new business jets for the exclusive use of Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. This after technical problems on VIP flights.

"It is an outrageous extravagance for President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to each have dedicated long-range business jets," said Maynier.

Defence spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said as a lead department in the purchase process, defence was weighing several options including whether to lease the aircraft or to buy them outright.

Maynier said he would schedule a meeting with Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in order to get a full and comprehensive briefing on the planned acquisition.
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 12:37:19 pm »
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Golden handshakes cost SA millions
2011-09-06 09:52

Cape Town - Municipalities across South Africa are losing millions of rands due to golden handshakes and severance packages paid out to municipal managers.

According to The Times, most of the country’s municipal managers fall victim to political interference and very few stay in office. Many have been suspended or fired, bought out of their contracts or offered settlements.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro has not had a single municipal manager complete their contract since the municipality was created in 2000. 

Graham Richards, a former municipal manager, received two golden handshakes, worth R6m after he was fired twice.

Tshwane and Mangaung municipalities were in the same boat with municipal managers saying there was pressure on them to grant tenders and resources to politicians. They also blamed corruption and political meddling.

An ANC spokesperson said he was unaware of complaints of political interference in municipalities while the South African Local Government Association said golden handshakes were a concern.
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2013, 12:38:04 pm »
Quote
Fired ministers still earning big bucks
2011-11-08 08:13

Johannesburg - Sacked ministers Sicelo Shiceka and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde were still earning R840 000 a year salaries as ANC MPs, Beeld newspaper reported on Tuesday.

African National Congress caucus spokesperson Moloto Mothapo told the newspaper that neither the former co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister, nor the ex-public works minister had resigned as Members of Parliament.

President Jacob Zuma sacked them on October 24.

Both still earned salaries as ANC MPs of R840 000 a year and also enjoyed privileges such as 48 paid-for inland business class plane tickets a year, and 24 plane tickets for their spouses.

Shiceka and Mahlangu-Nkabinde have been implicated in wrongdoing by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde's decision to allow two controversial building leases valued at R1.6bn to go ahead, despite tender procedures not being followed and legal advice to the contrary, amounted to maladministration, according to a finding by Madonsela.

In a separate report on Shiceka, Madonsela found he had racked up more than R1m in travel costs for himself, his staff and friends in violation of the executive ethics code.

This included a trip to Switzerland to see a girlfriend jailed on drug-related charges.

Shiceka denied any wrongdoing and vowed to go to court to contest Madonsela's findings.

- SAPA
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2013, 12:38:45 pm »
Quote
Taxpayers to pay R400m for ANC party
2011-11-10 07:48
Kaydene Jordaan, Volksblad

Bloemfontein - Taxpayers will have to pay more than R400m for the ANC's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein.

This is on top of the R100m which the ANC had already budgeted for next year's big party.

This amount is however petty cash compared to the money that will be spent to ready infrastructure in the Free State to host the party.

- Taxpayers have already paid R150m for the Philip Sanders resort just outside the city. The resort will be the headquarters of the festivities;

- A further R35m has been budgeted to restore the Methodist church in Waaihoek, where the ANC was founded in 1912;

- R200m has been allocated to renovate the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Mangaung;

- The official house of Free State Premier Ace Magashule will get an upgrade costing R15m;

- Millions will also be spent to restore the historic Mapikela home, and the Winnie Mandela home in Brandfort.

Heritage

Cope's Casca Mokitlane said that as it is an ANC celebration, the organisation must use its own money to finance the party.

The ANC however feels that the centenary celebrations form part of every South African's heritage, which is why it sees no problem in spending large sums of money.

Roy Jankielsohn, leader of the DA in the Free State, said it would be highly irregular for a political party to tap into national, provincial and municipal budgets to pay for its celebrations.

"We are worried about how much money is being used for the restoration of the buildings and church, even if they could be declared national heritage sites."

Professor Andre Duvenhage, political commentator of the North West university, said such spending of taxpayers' money threatens democracy.

William Bulwane, spokesperson for Premier Magashule, did not respond.

- Volksblad
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2013, 12:39:33 pm »
Quote
Bribery widespread, Stats SA survey finds
49 minutes ago
I-Net Bridge

Johannesburg - Citizens are being asked for  bribes by government officials for the services they are legally required to perform, Statistics SA said on Thursday.

The Pretoria-based agency released its survey Victims of Crime 2011 on Thursday.

"The bribes are mostly in the form of money, favours or a present."

The survey showed that since 2007, the proportion of people asked to pay bribes had increased significantly in relation to traffic fines.

"Comparisons with the previous survey indicated that bribes related to visiting a prison, pension, or bribes involving social welfare grant and identity document or passport applications have decreased," the agency said.

More than half (52.8%) of those who were victims of corruption were asked to pay a bribe to the traffic official to avoid traffic fines. This was most common in Gauteng (62.2%), the Western Cape (57.6%) and Eastern Cape (55.8%).

The second-highest bribe solicitation was for policing (21.4%), where 33.0% of corruption victims in the Western Cape paid bribes to the police. This was also fairly common in the Free State (28.9%) and Northern Cape (26.1%).

Statistics SA said other sectors where some bribes were solicited included driver's licences (15.9%) and job seekers (13.8%).
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2013, 12:41:09 pm »
Quote
Cele 'golden handshakes' probed
2011-11-30 22:37

Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is investigating a slew of golden handshakes worth R31m given to policemen on the watch of suspended national commissioner Bheki Cele.

Mthethwa told MPs on Wednesday that in a bid to stop long-running abuse of the police's special pensions system, he had decreed that the national commissioner may no longer award pay-outs without his approval.

"If you are applying this section 35 thing I have to know. I have to say 'yea' or 'nay'," he said, adding that the SA Police Act would soon be amended to this effect.

"The issue is that it has been a culture of section 35s being implemented without informing the executive authority... this is a huge matter, it cannot be left to the national commissioner alone," he told Parliament's portfolio committee on police.

Mthethwa's remarks follow controversy last month over a R1.1m pay-out given to former Gauteng crime intelligence chief Joey Mabasa, on top of his pension.

He was one of 19 policemen retrenched under section 35 of the act in the past two financial years. They received pay-outs totalling R31.2m.

Cele denied that his decision on Mabasa was informed by allegations linking the crime intelligence chief to Czech fraud accused Radovan Krejcir.

Instead, he told incredulous MPs last month, the police no longer had a suitable position for Mabasa because of internal restructuring.

Mthethwa said he had discussed the case with Cele and although he had been assured that Mabasa had no case to answer, he was not convinced that this applied to all the other recipients of special pensions.

He was in the process of scrutinising every successful section 35 application in recent years, not to recover the money, but to make sure people had not been released to cover up wrongdoing.

Abuse

"You can't review. It would be difficult to get the money back from them, in fact it is impossible because it is pension money.

"I have instructed the secretariat to interact with the police to make sure that indeed nobody gets away with murder.

"I wanted to understand who these people are for the sole purpose that you can't, because you have been granted section 35, get away from a criminal investigation.

He added: "What is most worrying... when we focus on those people we will be missing the point, they did not give themselves the money.

"I think for ourselves the focus has been rather, knowing not only the 20 we are talking about, but how many others, because it has been going on for years. It has been a culture that has hardened."

Mthethwa said he had been surprised to learn that deputy national commissioner Andre Pruis was among those who received a section 35 pay-out.

"What is not provided for is that when somebody is in any event going for a pension you give section 35 - that is part of abuse that is investigated."

Mthethwa said amendments to the act would be fast-tracked and should reach Cabinet within months.

"We have the final draft. I will be taking this to Cabinet next year."

He said he was also investigating some 20 cases in the past two years where people were recruited within the police after external applications were invited under section 45 of the act.

"Section 45 appointments are under investigation because it is my contention that if you apply section 45 the way it has been applied in the police currently, I need to have substance out of that.

"People would go and advertise and then appoint somebody in the police. Why not just go straight and appoint somebody in the police?"

Cele was suspended by President Jacob Zuma last month over his role in the police headquarters scandal. Mthethwa told MPs he had the fullest confidence in acting commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

- SAPA
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Re: Government wasting tax payers money
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2013, 12:41:49 pm »
Quote
Moving Mr Minister - R3600 a day!
2011-12-07 07:28

Exactly what kind of car can you rent for R3600 a day - especially when Muggins Taxpayer is footing the bill? Ask minister in the presidency Collins Chabane who thought his governmental backside deserved such comfort at the expense of his constituents.

Chabane and his deputy spent almost R550 000 on car rental between March 2010 and July 2011, according to a parliamentary reply to a question from the Democratic Alliance.

SPENDING CONDONED

Which must get some kind of car because a check with Avis showed that a modest Mercedes C180 costs R860 per day and a rather more imposing Toyota Fortuner 4x4 luxury station wagon R830 per day. What WAS Chabane driving?

Chabane revealed that he spent R159 000 during this period - about R3600 in rental per day. Deputy minister Dina Pule spent R387 000, a more modest but still extreme R2500 a day.

DA public service and administration spokesman Geordin Hill-Lewis said such "reckless spending" was being condoned because of provisions in the ministerial handbook.

"This handbook allows ministers to live a life of luxury at the expense of ordinary South Africans," he said.

He said public service and administration minister Roy Padaychie should ensure long-awaited amendments to the handbook were presented and implemented immediately to curb excess spending.
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