The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) notes the calls made by the Public Protector Ms Thuli Madonsela for Cabinet Ministers’ travel and accommodation expenses to be regulated.
The call by the Public Protector was made amidst her findings that Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had spent more than R700 000 on five-star hotels.
The call by the Public Protector Ms Madonsela should be welcomed by all genuine revolutionaries and servants of our people.
We are not blind to the fact that whenever Ministers are visiting various parts of the country to execute government work, issues of security, including accommodation should be seriously considered.
But this does not imply that any Minister should be recklessly spending tax-payers money by staying in opulent and extravagant hotels or lodges.
We hold a view that public representatives, particularly Cabinet Ministers, should not have an ordained right to squander tax-payers money by staying in luxurious and opulent hotels.
This sends a wrong impression in the eyes of the poor given the triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and deepening inequalities in our country.
This gives whole-hearted service to the country and the people an ugly face and feeds to the rotten notion that government office or position is a step-ladder to a better life for a few.
The message should be clear that anyone who has lust for razzmatazz and glamour should choose between serving the country and opulent lifestyle.
We will resist any attempts of our hard-earned money to be squandered on sleeping in extravagant Hotels or populist one night sleep in Diepsloot, including charting a private jet for a hand-bag at our expense.
All these will not deliver decent jobs or improved and faster service delivery to our communities.
We call on the Ministry of Public Service and Administration to move with speed on the review of the Ministerial Handbook through an open and democratic process.
This call for an open and democratic process is informed by the Freedom Charter injunction that ambiguously says ‘the people shall govern’.
The review of the Ministerial Handbook cannot be left in the hands of a few and conflicted individuals.
We further call on our public representatives in all spheres of government to be guided by revolutionary ethos and morality whenever their use the public purse.
Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson – 073 299 1595
Numsa Press Release