Note to Editors: This is an updated version of the statement released earlier.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is disappointed to learn that the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) has allocated an amount of R41,154 million for the celebration of public holidays in 2019.
This was revealed by Gauteng SACR MEC Mbali Hlophe in a written reply to my question in the Gauteng Legislature.
This is a massive waste of public funds as the money could be better spent in maintaining our deteriorating sporting stadiums and equipping our townships with adequate sporting facilities.
The table below shows the money that has been budgeted and spent so far for each public holiday in 2019:
|Public Holidays||Budget allocation||Money spent|
|Human Rights Day||R8,2 million||R8 25 million|
|Freedom Day||R6,012 million||R7,8 million|
|Youth Day||R4,342 million||R4,342 million|
|Women’s Day||R6,1 million||R5,450 million (awaiting final recon)|
|Heritage Day: Gauteng Carnival||R16,5 million||Still to happen|
The department has overspent by R1,79 million on Freedom Day celebrations.
A large portion of each public holiday’s budget is spent on catering, security and transport.
This department must find ways to curb this wasteful expenditure on public holidays.
One way to cut costs is to ensure that public holidays’ programme of events are short so as to cut the inexplicably excessive catering costs.
The department must consider using government facilities rather than outside venues to cut costs on ablution facilities, accommodation, venue rental and security.
In addition, the department must also consider collaborating with civil society, trade unions and private companies as this will help to drastically cut expenditure and save money as they will also contribute towards the event.
While we understand the importance of celebrating public holidays, the Gauteng Provincial Government should not go overboard. They must consider their core mandate of providing adequate services to the people of Gauteng instead of wasting money on public holidays.
In the past these public holidays celebrations have been little more than thinly-disguised ANC rallies and further used as a tool to extend a hand of patronage to the service providers which are closely linked to their organization.