File photo: Reuters

Cape Town - At least five ministries have heeded National Treasury’s austerity measures and did not issue their new ministers and deputy ministers with government credit cards, it has emerged in parliamentary replies.

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan announced a ban on government credit cards and cuts to car and air travel, limiting the value of government cars to R500 000 and cutting back on catering, entertainment and consultants in last October’s medium-term budget policy statement.

The DA has fired off questions to see if ministers were implementing the austerity measures. Without fail the response “No credit cards were issued” so far came from the ministries of water and sanitation, higher education, tourism, public works and trade and industry.

The Trade and Industry department spent R11 603 in the past year on its office greenery.

At Tourism House, indoor plant maintenance cost R8 008.50 between November and March.

Trade and Industry said their plants were for “decor”. Tourism said theirs were “for aesthetic appeal in public areas and to purify the work area for officials”.

No costs were given by either ministry for the plants at their ministers’ official residences.

Political Bureau