Free State Premier accused of spending R214 million on events while residents starve
Durban – Free State Premier Sefora Ntombela has been accused of spending millions on events while residents struggled to put food on the table.
In a question submitted by the DA in the Free State Legislature, it was found that between June 2018 and July 2020 the Free State Office of the Premier spent R214 417 750.38 on event management services.
The DA's Dr Roy Jankielsohn said four companies were the main beneficiaries of this largesse, namely Dots design Agency R59 977 998.21, Quail Media-Cubicle Trading JV R54 758 060.58, Thepa Trading R61 335 128.27 and Central Plaza Investments R38 446 573.31.
He said the spending over 26 months added up to an average of more than R8 million on events management services per month.
"This proves that the Office of the Premier remains the milking parlour of taxpayer money, even after it was vacated by 'the master of milking' former premier Ace Magashule," he said.
During her 2019 budget debate speech, Ntombela said in this financial year more will be done with less. At the time, she said a cent will not be wasted.
"We will account for every cent we use to fill our people’s aspirations. We will strictly adhere to cost-cutting measures," she said.
Jankielsohn said in her latest Office of the Premier budget speech, Ntombela indicated that successful growth and development of the province spends depended on building a capable, ethical and developmental state.
He said Ntombela said that successful growth and development of this province depends on building a capable, ethical and developmental state.
The DA says the premier’s spending on events management added no value to her commitment to cut wastage and fill people's aspirations in the Free State, which has an unemployment rate of 38.4% and growing poverty and hunger levels.
He said given the dire situation in the province, the DA regards this unnecessary expenditure that is incurred at the cost of the poorest of the poor by an incapable, unethical and uncaring Free State Premier as criminal.
“The excessive amounts of taxpayer funds paid for official government parties creates a legitimate impression that these funds could be abused to fund the governing party.”