Friday, 29 January 2016

Press statement: Minister Zulu must account for R689 000 splurged on UK-France trip

Democratic Alliance press statement by
Toby Chance MP
DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development

Minister Zulu must account for R689 000 splurged on UK-France trip

29 January 2016
Release: immediate

The Department of Small Business Development could have supplied a 7 000W generator to nearly 70 small businesses with the money Minister Lindiwe Zulu spent on a business trip to the UK and France in October last year. 

In reply to a parliamentary question posed by DA MP Toby Chance, Zulu revealed that she spent R689 000 on the trip, which should have consisted of various meetings with clear objectives and goals, but seems to have been a number of talk shops amounting to nothing concrete. 
It remains a mystery how Minister Zulu could have spent  almost R700 000 on her trip. The Treasury guidelines on foreign travel state that Ministers may only fly Business Class when travelling abroad; not First Class. The guidelines further stipulate that Ministers may only take up to two delegates on a foreign trip and that these delegates must fly Economy Class. 

Zulu’s excessive spending abroad comes in the wake of the Minister and her department putting forward complaints about the lack of funding for their programmes to boost small business development in South Africa. This from a department still unsure of its own significance and hamstrung by its “caretaker”, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

The DA will be following up with questions probing the details of the expenditure on Minister Zulu’s business trip. It would be a disgrace if the expenditure is identified as being “fruitless and wasteful”, amidst South Africa’s economy currently hampered by high unemployment and small growth. 

South Africans cannot afford a self-interested Department of Small Business Development. This department should be assisting entrepreneurs in establishing small businesses and in turn provide jobs to the millions of unemployed South Africans; not splurging money on overseas trips. The DA will make sure that Minister Zulu is held accountable for her expenses, and if these are found to be “fruitless and wasteful”, that serious action is taken.  

Media enquiries: 

Toby Chance
DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development
083 251 5613

Jacques de Villiers
Press Officer
083 683 2781

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