Zuma must now cut costs

FRESH allegations that former president Kgalema Motlanthe's administration had failed to curb excessive travel expenditure by ministers have put pressure on the new administration to cut costs.

President Jacob Zuma now promises the government will do things differently and cut excess government spending to a bare minimum.

A report by the Democratic Alliance says ministers, deputy ministers and departmental officials blew almost R1billion on official state trips.

The report shows foreign travel by ministers increased by nearly 20percent over the past year, from R823million in the 2007/2008 financial year to R978million in the 2008/2009 financial year.

For the period under review, national ministers undertook no less than 474 overseas trips, while deputy ministers undertook 169 overseas trips, the DA said.

The years under review also impact negatively on the last years under former president Thabo Mbeki's administration, says the report.