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Communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni sleeps in hotels at taxpayers' expense. Picture: GCIS/FILE PHOTO
Communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni sleeps in hotels at taxpayers' expense. Picture: GCIS/FILE PHOTO

Two ministers of communications and digital technologies and their deputies have spent more than R5m on accommodation in just three years, or a third of the department’s expenditure on accommodation in the past two years — at taxpayers’ expense. 

Department officials spent more than R10m despite some of the work having been done virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic and limits on travel and in-person meetings, according to a written reply by the department’s acting director-general Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani.

Current minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and her deputy Philly Mapulane were appointed in a cabinet reshuffle by President Cyril Ramaphosa in August last year.  

Previously, the positions were occupied by Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and her deputy Pinky Kekana from November 2018 to July last year.

The DA’s Michael Bagraim had inquired about the total amount spent on catering, entertainment and accommodation for the ministers, deputies and their staff since May 2019. The department said the total amount for the period in question was just over R15.3m.

Of this, R3.6m was spent on the ministers’ (Ndabeni-Abrahams and Ntshavheni) accommodation, while R1,021,003.90 was paid to house deputy ministers and more than R10m on officials in the department.

For catering, the total amount spent between May 2019 and May this year was R739,000.

Jordan-Dyani said the ministers had spent R158,000 on food, while the deputy minister used R91,000 and officials in the department R491,000.

The department said there was no expenditure on entertainment, which Bagraim said was strange in light of how much had been spent on accommodation and catering.

TimesLIVE

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