- Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu has spent R116 000 on knives, forks and crockery for her office
- Shabangu confirmed the purchase of cutlery and crockery for her official ministerial office in a written Parliamentary reply
- The minister noted that she had made the purchases in line with the prescribed process laid out by the National Treasury regulations
Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu has confirmed that she has spent R116 000 on knives, forks and crockery for her official ministerial office. These purchases were made in the period since she was moved to the social developments portfolio in February.
Shabangu confirmed the purchase was made in a written Parliamentary reply to a question posed by Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament (MP) Liezel van der Merwe. In her reply, Shabangu noted the items were for official use such as entertaining VIP guests.
Shabangu claimed that it had been a long time since any cutlery or crockery had been purchased for that particular office and noted that the procurement and eventual purchase of the items were done in compliance with the guidelines provided by the National Treasury.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Shabangu revealed her office had spent R166 528.56 on cutlery and crockery. She pointed out that no additional furniture had been purchased by her office.
Citizen.co.za reported that the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) posted a copy of Shabangu’s reply to its social media page.
Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) has thrust ministerial spending into the spotlight in recent weeks. The committee recently revealed that the department of public works spent R500 000 on entertainment and braai areas in ministerial homes.
The public is unlikely to take a kind view of ministers spending what to ordinary people looks like a fortune on frivolous items during these challenging economic times.
Shabangu was the subject of a mini-scandal last year when it was revealed that she had flaunted ministerial rules by running a bloated office.
Reports revealed that Shabangu had employed a staff of 15 to serve in her office, this while the maximum allowed number of staff for these offices are capped at 10. These additional staff members are thought to have cost the government around R10 million.
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