Johannesburg - Eighty-five officials from the office of Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane have, in four years, splurged R5.6 million on air tickets and hotel bills on round trips between Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town.
Chabane revealed this on Tuesday in a reply to a parliamentary question from the DA. The figures indicated that R4.2m was spent on flights and R1.4m was used for accommodation.
Chabane, who is the Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, said the expenditure was for the period between the 2009/10 financial year and the 2012/2013 financial year.
The figures also indicate that 20 officials had travelled between Pretoria and Cape Town between the 2009/10 and 2010/11 financial years.
At least 55 others made round trips between the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years.
The disclosures came as the government continued to grapple with the contentious issue of whether to relocate Parliament to the executive seat in Pretoria in a bid to save costs.
The cabinet recently appointed a task team, led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, to probe the feasibility and cost implications of relocating the National Assembly.
The acting chief executive of the Government Communication and Information System, Phumla Williams, on Tuesday failed to respond to repeated calls and a text message for comment on the matter.
Currently, ministers spend exorbitant amounts on state-funded flights between the seat of government in Pretoria and the legislative capital in Cape Town.