2 October 2013
Government refutes sensational claims that Executive Members of Cabinet are “misusing public funds” while renting vehicles to carry out the work of government. All Cabinet Ministers were asked a Parliamentary Question to provide expenditure details in this regard.
Policy provides that “Members at a national level may be provided with one vehicle for use in Cape Town and one vehicle for use in Pretoria. It further provides for “Use of Incidental Vehicles for official purposes away from respected seats of office”.
Acting CEO Phumla Williams states, “The Executive’s role and duties takes place throughout the country, not only in Cape Town and Pretoria. Members may make use of incidental or rented vehicles when on official duty.”
Williams added that, “The use of vehicles is not for private purposes but for official government business that enables Minister’s to work on government programmes that benefit all South Africans. Hired cars are used on official duty for direct interaction with communities and stakeholders outside Gauteng and Cape Town as a critical part of the Public Participation programmes of Ministers. These enable Ministers to fulfill their duties.”
Expenditure by Government goes through strict processes. Parliament annually approves the budgets of government departments, which includes all items of expenditure related the Minister’s duties and work. This expenditure is also audited by the Auditor General annually and there are and has been no findings of irregular or wasteful expenditure related to any Ministers’ hiring of vehicles to carry out official duties across the country.
Williams added, “Figures of expenditure released to the public through parliamentary replies is done in the spirit of transparency and accountability to the South African public. Attempts to misrepresent expenditure by the Executive in the public domain as a “misuse of public funds” are misleading as there are no factual grounds for these untested claims.”
2012 /2013 Annual Reports of government were tabled in Parliament last week and is widely available to the public to scrutinise expenditure for the year.
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)