Note to Readers:

Please Note: The editor of White Refugee blog is a member of the Ecology of Peace culture.

Summary of Ecology of Peace Radical Honoursty Factual Reality Problem Solving: Poverty, slavery, unemployment, food shortages, food inflation, cost of living increases, urban sprawl, traffic jams, toxic waste, pollution, peak oil, peak water, peak food, peak population, species extinction, loss of biodiversity, peak resources, racial, religious, class, gender resource war conflict, militarized police, psycho-social and cultural conformity pressures on free speech, etc; inter-cultural conflict; legal, political and corporate corruption, etc; are some of the socio-cultural and psycho-political consequences of overpopulation & consumption collision with declining resources.

Ecology of Peace RH factual reality: 1. Earth is not flat; 2. Resources are finite; 3. When humans breed or consume above ecological carrying capacity limits, it results in resource conflict; 4. If individuals, families, tribes, races, religions, and/or nations want to reduce class, racial and/or religious local, national and international resource war conflict; they should cooperate & sign their responsible freedom oaths; to implement Ecology of Peace Scientific and Cultural Law as international law; to require all citizens of all races, religions and nations to breed and consume below ecological carrying capacity limits.

EoP v WiP NWO negotiations are updated at EoP MILED Clerk.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Herd Mentality of SA's WC 2010 Mob & ANC's ‘F**k Taxpayers’ WC Tickets

Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may use:
  • simple denial - deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether

  • minimisation - admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalisation), or

  • projection - admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility.

The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction. The theory of denial was first researched seriously by Anna Freud. She classified denial as a mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality.

The concept of denial is important in twelve-step programs, where the abandonment or reversal of denial forms the basis of the first, fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth steps. The ability to deny or minimize is an essential part of what enables an addict to continue his or her behavior in the face of evidence that, to an outsider, appears overwhelming. This is cited as one of the reasons that compulsion is seldom effective in treating addiction — the habit of denial remains.

World Cup Tickets: PetroSA spends R12,5 million - total spent now R50-million

Ian Davidson, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance
28 June 2010

A reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that state corporation PetroSA has spent R12,5 million on World Cup tickets. The total amount of money spent by government departments and public entities on World Cup tickets has now risen to just short of R50-million. The DA will be writing to the chairperson of the select committee on finance to request that the minister of finance appear, to explain what action the Treasury will take against those responsible for this increasingly large, wasteful and entirely self-indulgent expenditure.

As more information keeps coming to light, it has become glaringly apparent that the directive issued by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to government departments not to spend public money on World Cup tickets has been completely ignored. My colleage Tim Harris, MP, member of the Select Committee on Finance, wrote to the Finance Minister asking him precisely what action was going to be taken against these departments and entities on 15 June, 2010. Today's revelations have only increased the urgency of the need for the Minister to explain to the Portfolio Committee on Finance exactly what action he will be taking to ensure that those who have defied his directives have some measure of disciplinary action taken against them.

The Department of Energy, through PetroSA, joins a shameful list of government departments and state entities that have spent money on World Cup tickets - even while the majority of South Africans either cannot afford to purchase tickets, or have been unable to do so. Expenditure so far includes:

  • Department of Trade and Industry: R 16 738 960 on approximately 3054 tickets
  • Department of Science and Technology: R 25 200 on 10 tickets
  • Department of Tourism: R 918 973 on 180 tickets
  • Department of Public Service and Administration: R 65 400 on 25 tickets
  • Department of Communications: spent R 5.2 million on 2786 tickets
  • Eskom (Department of Public Enterprises): R 12 million on tickets
  • PetroSA (Department of Energy) - R12,5 million on 1000 tickets (revealed today)
  • CEF (Department of Energy) - R1,4 million (revealed today)

These are only the figures that have been released to date. Many government departments have yet to report on their total expenditure for World Cup tickets and the South African public can almost certainly expect more of the same.

PetroSA's spending merely confirms the DA's position that government departments and state entities have no real respect for public funds and seem to have even less respect for the Minister of Finance and his attempts to control government spending.

Most South Africans would have loved the opportunity to watch football games live but have either not been able to afford to do so, or have been unable to obtain tickets through the purchasing process. Meanwhile, PetroSA and the other entities responsible have abused the trust placed in them and the DA thinks that it is only right that they are held to account by the Minister.

» » » » [DA]

Treasury backtracking on World Cup ticket purchase ban? - DA

Tim Harris, Democratic Alliance
06 June 2010

Treasury must confirm stance on use of municipal funds for World Cup tickets

High ranking sources have told the Democratic Alliance (DA) that National Treasury may have withdrawn, or is considering withdrawing, a Treasury Circular prohibiting the use of municipal funds to buy FIFA World Cup tickets.

After receiving this information one week ago I wrote to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to enquire whether this directive has been, or will be, withdrawn. I have not yet received a reply.

The World Cup is an opportunity to celebrate the unifying power of sport and South Africa's ability to host a truly world-class event. The use of state funds to buy tickets for councillors or municipal officials would be a cynical misuse of this opportunity for the personal gain of public representatives.

In the circular, distributed to all municipalities by Mr Jan Hattingh - the Chief Director of Local Government Budget Analysis - on 10 February 2010, municipalities are "advised and requested to refrain from using municipal funds to buy 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets and T-shirts for councillors and their spouses and municipal officials since it is in contravention with (the) legislation"

The relevant legislation quoted in the circular is the Municipal Systems Act and the Municipal Finance Management Act. The circular advises that:
"these proposed expenditures will constitute irregular, as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure, in terms of the MFMA, and therefore must not be incurred. Anyone who instructs the expenditures to proceed will be liable for the expenditure in terms of section 32 of the MFMA, and may be charged for financial misconduct in terms of Chapter 15 of the MFMA"

The Democratic Alliance believes that the continued enforcement of such a directive is critical to preventing the mismanagement of state funds in the coming months.

Not only this, but we believe National Treasury should be formally holding Provincial and National government structures to the terms of similar directives to prevent mismanagement of state funds.

As such, I would ask again that the Finance Minister clarifies Treasury's position.

Statement issued by Tim Harris, MP, Democratic Alliance member of the select committee on finance, June 6 2010

» » » » [Politicsweb]

[R 11 Million] Taxpayers' money used to buy WC tickets

June 15 2010 at 08:24AM
By Political Bureau, IOL

The amount of taxpayers' money spent on World Cup tickets by government departments rose to nearly R11 million on Monday after it emerged that three more departments had splashed out on freebies for staff and special guests.

Officials who signed off on the ticket splurge are likely to face tough questions from the auditor-general when audits for the 2009/10 financial year get under way.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has made it clear that spending state funds on tickets will be deemed wasteful and fruitless expenditure, as it contravenes the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act and the Code of Conduct for Civil Servants.

Replies to parliamentary questions by the DA released on Monday revealed that the Department of Trade and Industry had spent nearly R5 million, the Department of Tourism just under a million and the Department of Science and Technology just over R25 000 on a total of 520 tickets.

Added to the R5.3m already paid for tickets by the departments of Communication and Public Service and Administration, the total amount known to have been spent by the government so far is R10.9m. The figure is higher if ticket buying by the SABC and state-owned enterprises such as the SA Post Office and Sentech are included.

While the departments defended the spending as a means of rewarding employees, or an opportunity to interact with investors, a DA member of the National Council of Provinces' select committee on finance, Tim Harris, said it was unacceptable.

Gordhan had issued a circular to municipalities warning about the legal ramifications of buying World Cup tickets and had said the same principles applied with regard to national departments.

Actual amounts known to have been spent so far are:

  • Department of Trade and Industry: R4 738 960 for 320 tickets.

  • Department of Science and Technology: R25 200 on 10 tickets.

  • Department of Tourism: R918 973 on tickets.

  • Department of Public Service and Administration: R65 400 on 25 tickets.

  • Department of Communications: R5.2m on 2 786 tickets.

  • Sentech: R1.04m on 86 tickets.

  • SABC: R3.3m on 2 000 tickets.

  • SA Post Office: R800 000 on 500 tickets.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on June 15, 2010

» » » » [IOL]

Government splurges R6million of your money on Cup tickets

15 June 2010
Anna Majavu, Sowetan

THE government has spent another R6million on tickets for the World Cup, openly defying Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s directive not to do so.

South African Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry have bought tickets for their staff.

SA Tourism has spent R918000 on 180 World Cup tickets – at an average of R5100 each. One hundred of the tickets were dished out to staff. The Department of Trade and Industry spent a whopping R4738960 on 320 tickets, meaning that each ticket cost almost R15000.

The Department of Science and Technology spent R25200 on 10 tickets.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said that SA Tourism staff had been given 100 tickets paid for from a “staff fund” in recognition of their hard work on the World Cup.

Last week, Gordhan said he had not withdrawn a circular against using municipal funds to buy World Cup tickets. The circular advised municipalities to refrain from using municipal funds to buy World Cup tickets and T-shirts for councillors and their spouses and municipal officials “as this was in contravention of the legislation”.

The circular followed news that the SABC had spent R3,3million on tickets. Signal regulator Sentech spent R1,7million on 96 tickets, while the SA Post Office had spent R800000 on 500 tickets, according to a reply in Parliament by Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda.

He said directors-general could be instructed to pay the money back. DA MP Tim Harris said the government should have spared a thought for the “thousands of South Africans who have either been turned away from purchasing tickets, or are unable to afford them”.

“Many of these tickets were distributed to top managers and VIP investors who could all afford to buy their own tickets,” he said.

The Independent Democrats and Cope said staff who received tickets must pay the money back.

“The call for austerity measures was not heeded by these departments. They behave as if our country is not in a recession,” said ID leader Patricia de Lille.

Cope MP Phillip Dexter said: “Those who got tickets must pay this money back.”

» » » » [Sowetan]

R3m ticket scandal revealed

June 12 2010 at 11:00AM
By Carien du Plessis and Siyabonga Mkhwanazi, IOL

Top SABC executives are set for a bumper World Cup season as they were allocated a total of 277 tickets for top seats at the tournament out of the 2 190 tickets bought for R3.3 million by the cash-strapped corporation.

According to a confidential internal document, SABC chairman Ben Ngubane and group chief executive Solly Mokoetle got 86 tickets each for the tournament - two each for kickoff and the final and six tickets each for a further 14 matches.

SABC board deputy chairwoman Felleng Sekha got 66 tickets - two for the kickoff, a semi-final match in Cape Town and the finals, and six tickets for each of a further 10 games.

The remaining 10 members of the SABC board, however, have to divide their tickets carefully, as the board was given 20 tickets for kickoff and 20 for the final, as well as four tickets for the Brazil vs Cote d'Ivoire match in Johannesburg on June 20.

Tickets were also allocated to 33 journalists, most of them from the SABC or from the print media, who were on the SABC "hospitality guest list".

The other tickets went to television and radio divisions within the SABC, as well as to listener competitions.

Ngubane yesterday said he was only allocated four tickets for each of the matches when the document indicated six.

"I did not ask for these tickets, it was done by the SABC's administration, so they are the right people to ask about it."

He said the tickets were intended for entertaining corporate partners, and he himself would not be going to all the matches.

He would prefer to attend the matches where the SA team, Bafana Bafana, would be playing, and even then he would be accompanied by business partners, he said.

"Whoever got tickets will have to report to the SABC afterwards about how they were used," he said.

Mokoetle yesterday refused to say whether his allocation was correctly indicated on the document.

He also threatened to take legal action should the information be incorrect.

And he demanded to know the source of the information.

Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda last week revealed that the SABC had spent R3.3 million on the World Cup tickets for "stakeholders", something which the DA said could not be justified given the entity's financial status.

This article was originally published on page 7 of Cape Argus on June 12, 2010

» » » » [IOL]

Cup runneth over for city councillors

Candice Bailey
June 12 2010 at 06:06PM

The financially ailing City of Johannesburg has not only admitted to splurging massively on World Cup tickets for its councillors and senior staff, but has also forked out another R3-million on World Cup paraphernalia.

Jerseys, fleece tops and beanies are just some of the World Cup merchandise and memorabilia that the city has bought for its 24 000 staff members, despite a national directive warning against it.

The city initially denied the expenditure on the tickets, with spokesperson Virgil James saying they could never use ratepayers' money for the tickets and that councillors would pay for these themselves.

But the Saturday Star has established through responses to written questions asked during council meetings that the council indeed paid for tickets. Two months ago the Saturday Star reported that 6 500 World Cup match tickets were purchased by the city.

But now the paper can reveal that a total of 22 500 tickets were bought along with a goodie bag containing two supporter jerseys, fleece tops and a beanie for each of its employees. The goodie bag came after the councillors received yellow Bafana Bafana supporter jerseys, which cost the city more than R125 000.

Later the city bought 30 000 T-shirts for the marketing department's new campaign, You Make Joburg Great, at R1.3m. The shirts were worn at the opening of the Soccer City stadium.

And in May senior staff members received a goodie bag containing two supporter jerseys, a fleece top and a beanie.

The rest of the staff received at least one of the supporter jerseys.

The purchases come after an e-mail was circulated to all tiers of government from Jan Hattingh, chief director of local government budget analysis in the National Treasury's Intergovernmental Relations Department, that buying tickets and other World Cup paraphernalia would be seen as fruitless expenditure.

In a response to questions asked by Councillor Victor Penning, the mayoral committee member for community development confirmed that they defied a national directive not to waste money on merchandise for the tournament and bought the tickets.

"The city will purchase tickets as approved by the mayoral committee for the World Cup matches in Johannesburg," the response said.

The city's 217 councillors each received a pair of tickets for every one of the 15 games that will be played at Ellis Park and Soccer City stadiums - from the opening match to the final on July 11.

DA councillors gave their tickets back after instruction from its head office that no member may accept tickets.

"This approach was implemented even for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup as the city is a host city. (Those) tickets were distributed to all councillors of the city of Joburg," the response continued.

They would not confirm how much was spent on the 22 500 tickets - but even at the cheapest price of R140, this would amount to more than R3.1m.

The tickets were bought from the marketing budget of each department as it was a "marketing opportunity for the city". According to the response, councillors were allocated two tickets so that they could invite guests from their community for the games.

"Departments have purchased additional tickets to encourage networking with stakeholders that do business with the city and the broader community, as is the practice in all city events.

"The city is aware of the chief director's directive which covered both tickets and T-shirts. The city sought legal opinion and the process followed by the city was guided by the legal advisers of the city and the normal municipal procurement process has been adhered to as advised."

James said he could not comment on the purchase of the goodie bags or other paraphernalia.

But new DA Joburg leader Vasco da Gama said the expenditure was concerning.

"I really think it is excessive. T-shirts, fleece jackets, beanies - we are against it. It's all fruitless and wasteful expenditure while we are unable to go ahead with projects in Kyasands, where people really need housing," said Da Gama.

This article was originally published on page 10 of The Star on June 12, 2010

» » » » [IOL]

Gauteng MEC defies Gordhan on World Cup Tickets

Jun 9, 2010 3:53 PM
By Times LIVE

Despite a National Treasury circular to municipalities that makes it clear that spending municipal funds on tickets constitutes irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure in terms of legislation, the MEC has issued his own circular to Gauteng municipalities with instructions on how to circumvent the Finance Minister’s instruction that municipalities should not buy World Cup tickets, says the Democratic Alliance.

"Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan needs to urgently bring Gauteng MEC for Local Government Kgaogelo Lekgoro into line with his directive on municipal purchases of World Cup tickets. Minister Gordhan must now urgently intervene to prevent Mr. Lekgoro from openly flouting his directive," Tim Harris, DA member of the select committee on finance.

He says Lekgoro states in his correspondence that municipalities ought to be purchasing tickets for mayors and municipal managers, and should be justifying this on the basis that attendance at these games could be deemed a “marketing strategy for purposes of promoting the work of the municipality.”

He goes on to say that: “It is recommended? that all Gauteng chosen representatives attend the opening and closing matches” and that “travel to other provinces has to be justified on the partnership building basis.”

MEC Lekgoro also says that municipalities “identify and target those matches in which there will be value add for the municipality in terms of marketing”.

"In a letter to me, dated 7 June - in response to concerns I raised over suggestions that the moratorium on ticket purchases may be lifted - Minister Gordhan confirmed that purchases of tickets would constitute financial misconduct and irregular expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act as well as certain provisions in the Code of Conduct for Public Servants," says Harris.

Harris says If municipalities spend state funds on tickets it will be a slap in the face of the many thousands of South Africans who have not been able to get World Cup tickets, or who cannot afford them. "It will also be an insult to every South African who is told that Gauteng municipalities do not have the funds to deliver them basic services.

» » » » [Sunday Times]

State entities struggle to explain tickets

June 04 2010 at 07:14AM
By Janine Stephen, Political Bureau

The government has frowned upon state entities spending millions of rands on World Cup tickets, but the departments of International Relations and Sports were an exception, it said.

State-owned entities struggled to explain their R5 million World Cup ticket splurge yesterday.

The Mercury yesterday reported that the SABC, Sentech, the Post Office and the Department of Public Service and Administration had collectively spent taxpayers' money on tickets to the sporting event.

The cash-strapped SABC alone accounted for more than 2 000 tickets at R3.3m.

Other government departments should not have splurged on World Cup tickets, said government spokesman Themba Maseko.

The Department of International Relations and Co-operation might be an exception as it was inviting heads of state to the event, while the Department of Sport and Recreation might also have had to invite VIP guests, he said. He added that there should not be wholesale buying of tickets by government departments.

But sport department spokesman Manase Makwela said it had not bought World Cup tickets. State entities that spent millions on the tickets refused to give details of their guests.

The SABC's Kaizer Kganyago defended the purchases yesterday, explaining they would be used for "stakeholder management". He said the stakeholders included advertisers, while some of the tickets were bought to give away in competitions to radio and TV audiences. "Eighty percent of our revenue we get from advertising, so we have to nurture the relationships with our stakeholders," he said.

Sentech opted for seats known as Extra Strongs "as opposed to suites, which do not come cheap". MPs are among the signal regulator's guests.

Its 96 tickets were for "stakeholder relations for the shareholder, portfolio committee of communications members, the regulator, customers and the media". All tickets were for matches at Soccer City and the cost was R1.04m - not R1.7m, as previously reported.

Post Office spokesman Kedibone Molopyane said its 500 tickets, costing R800 000, were to 16 fan parks, and that it would take some of its top 10 customers to these.

Public service department spokesman Dumisani Nkwamba said its tickets had been bought by the Government Employees Medical Scheme, which was managed as a private entity.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Mercury on June 04, 2010

» » » » [IOL]

Outcry about R5m soccer tickets

June 03 2010 at 07:30AM
By Political Bureau

Three parastatals and a government department have spent more than R5 million on World Cup tickets, with the SABC splurging R3.3m on more than 2 000 tickets.

This was revealed in a parliamentary reply yesterday from Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda to a question from the Democratic Alliance.

The signal regulator Sentech spent R1.7m on 96 tickets, while the SA Post office bought 500 tickets for R800 000 and the Department of Public Service and Administration spent R65 400 on 25 tickets.

The DA expressed anger over the issue.

"How these tickets will be allocated has not been explained. Instead, the parliamentary reply from the minister of communications attempts to hide behind the claim that 'identified groups of stakeholders or representatives thereof' will benefit. What that means is anyone's guess," DA MP Niekie van den Berg said.

"The question is why those who are well placed to be able to afford tickets are now getting state-subsidised tickets, when many ordinary South Africans have been unable to get tickets.

"If anyone should be getting state-subsidised tickets, it is poor South Africans who cannot afford them. Those who can afford tickets should pay their way to the matches; they should not get them free from the state, via the SABC or any other state entity," Van den Berg added.

He said the SABC's R3m "on more than 2 000 tickets" could not be justified, "given that entity's current financial status".

"In 2009, the SABC received a R1.4 billion guarantee from the National Treasury. The guarantee was awarded with the condition that the SABC would institute cost-cutting measures."

The DA said that in issuing the directive preventing municipalities from buying World Cup tickets, the National Treasury classified the expenditure on World Cup tickets as irregular, as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The National Treasury indicated that any official permitting such expenditure would be liable for it and could face charges for financial misconduct.

"The DA will today in Parliament issue a member's statement requesting that the National Treasury institute proceedings to scrutinise all purchases of World Cup tickets at national, provincial and local level," the DA said.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on June 03, 2010

» » » » [IOL]

DA slams Cup ticket splurges

June 03 2010 at 12:30PM

Government departments were ordered not to splurge on 2010 World Cup tickets, spokesman Themba Maseko said on Thursday after it emerged that state entities and the SABC spent nearly R6-million on securing match seats.

"Advice has been given to departments, government departments, not to purchase, but we are aware that some agencies, state agencies, may be acquiring tickets for a variety of reasons," he told a post-Cabinet briefing.

He said the departments of international relations and sport may be "exceptions".

"We are taking that there may just be an exception for the department of international relations because we are inviting heads of state and other VIP guests. The department of sports may also be in a special category because for a variety of reasons we might have to invite other VIP guests, but generally you will not find wholesale purchasing of tickets by government departments."

Maseko declined to comment on the SABC's decision to spend R3,3-million on 2000 tickets for the June 11-July 11 soccer extravaganza and buying sprees by other state bodies, including one government department.

The cash-strapped public broadcaster was joined by signal regulator Sentech, who spent R1,7-million on 96 tickets, and the SA Post office that spent R800 000 on 500 tickets, according to a response by Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda to a parliamentary question.

The department of public service and administration paid R65 400 for 25 tickets to World Cup matches.

The Democratic Alliance sharply criticised the buying spree and said it would ask Treasury to investigate all ticket purchases at all levels of government as cases of irregular expenditure.

"The question is why those who are well-placed to be able to afford tickets are now getting state-subsidised tickets, when many ordinary South Africans have been unable to get tickets," DA MP Niekie van den Berg said.

"If anyone should be getting state-subsidised tickets, it is poor South Africans who cannot afford them. Those who can afford tickets should pay their way to the matches; they should not get them free from the state, via the SABC or any other state entity."

He said the SABC could not justify buying tickets "given that entity's current financial status".

"In 2009, the SABC received a R1,4-billion guarantee from the national Treasury. The guarantee was awarded with the condition that the SABC would institute cost-cutting measures." - Sapa

» » » » [IOL]

State spends R5m on 2010 tickets

June 02 2010 at 03:00PM

Four state entities and departments spent over R5.2-million on purchasing tickets for the World Cup, replies to Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary questions have revealed.

A statement released by the DA on Wednesday said a significant portion of this amount was spent by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), who spent R 3.3-million on 2 190 tickets.

The following spending per state entity emerged from the parliamentary questions although there was no clarity as to how the tickets would be allocated:

  • SABC - R 3 332 250.00 on 2190 tickets;

  • Sentech - R1 067 325.00 on 96 tickets;

  • South African Post Office (SAPO) - R800 000 on 500 tickets; and

  • Department of Public Service and Administration - R65 400 on 25 tickets

The DA said If anyone should be getting state-subsidised tickets, it is poor South Africans who cannot afford them, not those who are well-placed to be able to afford tickets.

The National Treasury reportedly classified the expenditure on World Cup tickets as irregular, as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure and indicated that any official permitting such expenditure would be liable for it and could face charges for financial misconduct. - IOL reporter

» » » » [IOL]

DA slams R144 000 MCM shirts

May 21 2010 at 03:08PM
By John Yeld, Environment and Science Writer

Buying Bafana Bafana World Cup replica jerseys for junior government employees at a cost of more than R144 000 is wasteful and an example of the state spending on "bling", the DA says.

It wants to know what budget was used.

The agriculture department says the purchase is part of its efforts to promote excitement around "Soccer Fridays" and is a way of rewarding employees who are helping the government ensure delivery, but who have been hit by the economic climate.

"It was for junior staff members, not for everyone," said spokesman Albi Modise.

"The government is an employer, too, and at the heart of it the department took a decision in the spirit of Soccer Friday to extend the excitement to (employees).

"The decision was geared towards ensuring members (of staff) are able to participate in a practical way."

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson has confirmed in Parliament that the jerseys were bought for 402 officials and cost R359 each.

Joemat-Pettersson said the jerseys had been bought for staff from Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) who were recently transferred to her department.

But officials said the recipients had been across the department and all chief directorates had contributed to the cost from their budgets.

The DA's shadow minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Lourie Bosman, who posed the parliamentary question, also asked whether any World Cup match tickets had been bought for staff.

In her reply, Joemat-Pettersson said the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism had bought some "World Cup-related merchandise" for MCM before it was transferred to her department.

She said 402 Adidas Bafana Bafana World Cup replica jerseys had been bought at a cost of R144 318 for officials on levels three to seven.

The level three salary scale begins at R54 879 a year and the top of level seven is R137 976.

No World Cup tickets had been bought for staff, Joemat-Pettersson said.

Gareth Morgan, the DA's shadow environment minister, described her answer as "astounding".

"While it's not clear which budget this money came out of, I would certainly regard it as wasteful expenditure."

Modise said the decision had been part of the government's efforts to get all South Africans involved in the World Cup. "It's a way of allowing staff members to participate."

Morgan said the department had acknowledged having "completely insufficient" money each year to fulfil its mandate.

The R144 000 could have been put to much better use - for example, by SANParks, which was "crying out" for more money, he suggested.

"Further, the department had the audacity to spend this money at the time that regulations were gazetted proposing an increase in fishing fees (of) up to 400 percent for certain recreational fishing activities.

"Fortunately (the draft regulations) have been withdrawn. If the government is going to levy those kind of fees, it should make sure all the money it has at its disposal is used for enforcing compliance in the environmental sectors, not for bling."

This article was originally published on page 8 of Cape Argus on May 21, 2010

» » » » [IOL]

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