DA hails money-saving action

THE Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday applauded and welcomed drastic cost-cutting measures announced by department of treasury acting head Leslie Magagula.

The measures will be implemented by the provincial government with immediate effect.

DA caucus leader in the KZN legislature John Steenhuisen said yesterday the "provincial recovery plan" was long overdue.

Magagula said the measures, which include cutting back on team-building sessions, year-end functions, cellphone allowances, travel and accommodation expenses and the purchase of promotional material, were aimed at reducing the "projected year-end overspending".

"We are relieved that the provincial government has finally taken heed of the DA's repeated calls for the implementation of strict austerity measures.

"Whether all provincial government departments will conform, whether the process will be monitored and whether penalties will be imposed against departments or individuals that flout the rules, remains to be seen," he said.

Steenhuisen said with a R3billion overdraft, the government could not afford MECs who failed to lead by example in enforcing the new spending regulations. "These new provisions must go hand in hand with an urgent review of the ministerial handbook governing MECs' expenses."