Premier Alan Winde slammed R30m marketing spend in Covid-19 fight
Cape Town - Opposition parties laid into the department of the premier for spending of R30 million on marketing and R11m on IT in the fight against Covid-19.
The legislators were contributing to the vote debate on the Western Cape Adjustments Appropriation (Covid-19) Bill for the department in which the premier’s office received an additional allocation of R6.3m from the provincial treasury.
The key budget items for the department included the communications campaign in various media outlets, boosting the call centre to deal with humanitarian response and equipping boardrooms with technology to enable officers to work remotely.
Leader of the opposition in the legislature, Cameron Dugmore, said: “When we look at this particular budget, the budget book reflects that R9.4m was received as a donation and we’ve also heard that over R30m went into the marketing campaign. We’ve asked for a breakdown of the R30m spent on marketing.”
With regard to the call centre, Dugmore said: “What we want to know is how many of those who called in requesting food parcels were assisted?”
Good Party MPL Brett Herron said: “People can’t eat IT boardrooms and innovation. There’s a tendency in the department of the premier to be over fascinated with technology at the expense of other essential services.”
“We see an allocation of R11m is going to a contact centre and relationship management, this is literally taking food out of people’s mouths and placing it in bells and whistles when we need to be prioritising real humanitarian relief: food and sustenance for people rendered destitute by loss of income and the lockdown.”
Premier Alan Winde said: “The communication campaign costing in the region of R30m has been funded from repurposed funds within the department and was aimed at equipping residents with clear, trustworthy information to protect themselves."