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SABC bosses fly in style with R5.6m travel bill in two years

Dec 09 2016 13:04
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – The five entities that report to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi incurred travel expenses over the past two financial year that cost the taxpayer close to R19m. 

In a response to a parliamentary question posed by Choloane Matsepe from the Democratic Alliance, Muthambi divulged the details of the number of international and domestic trips that were undertaken by five entities that fall under her department’s auspices. 

The SABC board and senior management made altogether 51 international trips – of which 31 were travelled in business class – in the past two financial years that cost close to R2.7m. 

READ: SABC posts R411m net loss

In the 2014/15 financial year, the SABC board travelled overseas four times – always in business class – which cost R585 067. 

Altogether, eight domestic trips were made by the board – all in business class – to the value of R465 491. 

SABC senior managers in the 2014/15 financial year made 35 overseas trips, of which 15 were in business class. The total value of overseas trips was R1.023m. 

In the 2015/16 financial year the SABC board did not travel overseas once, but senior managers made 12 international trips – all in business class – which totalled R1.091m. 

As for domestic travel in the 2015/16 financial year, the SABC board undertook 33 trips of which all but one was travelled in business class, totalling R312 996. SABC senior management made 179 domestic trips – of which 60 were in business class – at a cost of R1.9m. 

This brings the SABC’s total travel bill to R5.6m for the past two financial years. 

The other four entities that fall under the Department of Communications also travelled extensively, domestically as well as internationally over the past two financial years. 

The cost breakdown is as follows: 

- Brand South Africa: R3.4m; 

- Film and Publication Board: R4.3m; 

- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa: R4.2m

- The Media Development and Diversity Agency: R1.4m 

This brings the total travel expenditure for the five entities reporting to Muthambi over the past two financial years to R16.7m. 

These expenses come despite Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s repeated pleas for belt tightening measures to bring down government spending. 

READ: Government departments spend R35bn despite Gordhan's cost cut plans

Gordhan earlier said that government departments continue to spend vast amounts of money on consultants, travel, catering and entertainment. 

In 2015/16 they spent altogether R9.2bn on travel alone, and expenses on this item climbed by a whopping R215.5m. 

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