Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance says that the costs of the Presidential inauguration on May 25 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane will cost South African taxpayers in the region of R120 million.
John Steenhuisen, DA chief whip in the national assembly, says that in the wrap up of the fifth parliament political parties were informed that the costs for the 2019 Presidential inauguration and the opening session of the sixth parliament would be kept at “an absolute minimum given the desperate financial state we find ourselves in after 25 years of ANC rule”.
“A budget of R60.6 million was requested by the Parliamentary Administration for the rollout of the 2019 Parliamentary inauguration programme which will see all 400 incoming members of parliament on-boarded, trained and inducted.
“National Treasury refused to grant this, leaving parliament with R8.4 million from their budget for the 2018/19 financial year. To plug this hole, numerous austerity measures were implemented, such as reduction in staff, the secondment of staff from provincial legislatures, the re-utilisation of ICT equipment for new members and negotiation with other government departments to cover to cover strategic costs,” says Steenhuisen.
He says that despite the drastic cutbacks by the Parliamentary Administrative Services for the inauguration of MPs it is the public that will have to fork out over R120 million “for the wasteful excesses of the Presidential inauguration ceremony”.
“It is no secret that the South African economy is in dire straits. The government has had to fork out billions of taxpayers money to prop up failing SOEs which have been gutted by decades of ANC corruption and mismanagement,” says Steenhuisen.