- Social developments minister Susan Shabangu has come in for heavy criticism by the IFP for her purchase of cutlery and crockery to the value of R116 000
- Shabangu admitted to the purchase in a written Parliamentary reply to the IFP’s Liezel van der Merwe
- The IFP took to twitter to criticise Shabangu using the hashtag #StopEatingOurMoney
Social developments minister Susan Shabangu has come in for heavy criticism from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) after she admitted that she had approved the purchase of cutlery and crockery at cost of more than R116 000.
The IFP blasted Shabangu for spending what it deemed an extraordinary amount of money on eating utensils for her office. IFP Member of Parliament Liezel van der Merwe took to twitter to criticise Shabangu using the hashtag #StopEatingOurMoney.
The storm in a (very expensive) teacup was caused when Shabangu gave a written reply to a Parliamentary question posed by van der Merwe. Shabangu admitted that she had purchased cutlery and crockery for her office at a cost of R116 528.56
Briefly.co.za gathered that Shabangu noted in her answer that the items purchased would be used by her in her official capacity and to entertain VIP guests. Shabangu added that her office had not purchased cutlery and crockery in quite some time.
Shabangu added that she had refrained from buying any additional furniture for her office and she insisted that the purchase of the cutlery and crockery was made in-line with the guidelines as set out by the National Treasury.
SowetanLive.co.za reported that the IFP was not impressed with the frivolous purchase which the party claims is equal to a year’s salary for a retail worker in South Africa.
Shabangu did not indicate what if anything was wrong with the old cutlery and crockery and did not mention why she deemed the old equipment to not be fit for service any longer.
The Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) also criticised Shabangu and noted that her department oversaw the delivery of social grants and pensions which in most cases were less than R1600 per month.
Shabangu was at the centre of a controversy over the inflated staff count of her office last year. Reports indicated that she had employed 15 people to work in her office while official guidelines made it clear that she could have a maximum of 10 people.
The incident is believed to have cost the government more than R15 million in salaries and other human resource related costs.
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