Paarl. 3.03.18. Norma Gigaba, wife of former Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba was one of the VIP guests attending the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo held event on Saturday at the Val de Vie Estate. Picture Ian Landsberg African News Agency/ANA.

Parliment - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba's wife racked up a travel bill of close to R900 000, at taxpayers' expense, while abroad with her husband in his previous portfolio, it emerged on Thursday.

In a written reply to a question from Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier, the finance ministry said Norma Gigaba accompanied her husband to investor roadshows in New York and several Asian countries. 

Air travel for the New York trip was R122 773 for the trip between 7 and 11 November last year. 

Maynier, in a statement said, although the trip was in line with the Ministerial Handbook, Gigaba should have practiced what he preached as Finance Minister at the time.

"The former Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, who was responsible for the implementation of cost containment measures, and who regularly called for greater efficiency in the use of public funds, should have set an example when it came to belt-tightening in South Africa," said Maynier.

"The fact is Norma Gigaba had no official duties on the investor roadshows and taxpayers, who have been pushed to the limit by tax increases, should never have had to cough up for what were, in reality, a series of intercontinental shopping trips."

African News Agency/ANA