Austerity measures kick in as KZN aims to cut costs on opening of legislature
Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal legislature has cut down on the number of guests attending the official opening of the house on Tuesday by King Goodwill Zwelithini and Wednesday's State of the Province Address (Sopa) by Premier Sihle Zikalala.
Parliamentary Speaker Nontembeko Boyce told Independent Media on Tuesday during the official opening that the reduction of the number of guests was part of the nationwide austerity measures as the province was facing financial constraints.
Boyce said in previous years, the legislature invited 2 800 guests on each day.
“We have now cut down to 1 200 on each day, which translates to 2 400 over two days."
She said by cutting down on the number of guests, the legislature was saving about R1 million.
“Post the sitting we will discuss and see how much we have saved and what are other areas that we can save on in the future,” said Boyce.
DA provincial leader MPL Zwakele Mncwango said there should not be business as usual in terms of holding the events, as the DA felt that they should be held on one day. He estimated that the two events would each cost the taxpayers more than R1 million.
“The country and the province are facing serious economic challenges, which then means you have to do things differently.
“Today, we find ourselves in a space where we don’t do things that you always want to do, but you have to do things that you need to do,” said Mncwango.
He said it was possible to have the two events on one day as President Cyril Ramaphosa presented his state of the nation address at 7pm.
However, IFP MPL Blessed Gwala said the event should be held on two separate two days because the King deserves absolute respect.
“There is no crisis (with two separate days) as the king must be given his own time to speak and then the premier must have his own time to speak,” he said.