Between May and July 2009, the Minister of Police and his protectors (as is required in terms of protection service procedures) stayed at Table Bay Hotel while in Cape Town. This was to allow for renovations that had to be done on the Minister’s house due to leakages which had resulted in flood damage to the house.
The Deputy Minister also stayed in the hotel when he was in Cape Town as there was, at that time, no housing provided for him. Over the period of the Budget Speech two staff members in the office of the Minister who were working with the Minister on the budget speech and related matters also stayed a few nights at the hotel.
As soon as the issue of the hotel costs was brought to the attention of the Minister, he instructed a senior official to conduct a full investigation into the matter. This investigation brought to light a number of issues.
Firstly, the Minister only spent one night in the Presidential Suite because the hotel was full. The hotel had asked the Minister to stay in this suite and therefore the Ministry was not billed any extra costs for this one night upgrade. The Minister also stayed in different categories of rooms dependent on the availability of these rooms at the times he stayed at the hotel. The protectors who stayed at the hotel, stayed in the cheapest rooms available with the exception of four nights when they were placed by the hotel in more luxury rooms without the knowledge of the Ministry. With regard to these four nights the official investigating the matter is currently in discussions with the travel agency to address why this took place.
Secondly, certain room charges including, telephone, mini bar and laundry costs have been queried. The official investigating has held discussions with the travel agents to seek clarity and steps are being put in place to rectify these queries. These steps, where necessary, may include the recovery of undue costs. In addition, where some of this undue expenditure did occur, this will be recovered from the relevant individuals
In the absence of a comprehensive policy on travel and accommodation, the Minister also instructed two senior staff members to develop such a policy in line with governmental cost saving approach and this policy has now been rigorously implemented. This travel and accommodation policy has also been communicated to the travel agents and they have been instructed to adhere to this policy.
This policy ensures that unnecessary expenditure on both travel and accommodation does not occur in future.
Cell: 082 045 4024
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
on behalf of the Ministry of Police