DA blasts splurge on World Cup tickets

THE government could have built 2357 new houses with all the money it has splurged on World Cup tickets.

DA spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko said yesterday that the R127,3million the government wasted on World Cup tickets was "a direct flouting of Minister Pravin Gordhan's directive that municipalities refrain from spending public money on World Cup tickets".

Mazibuko, pictured, blamed President Jacob Zuma and a task team set up to cut costs for allowing government departments and municipalities to let loose with the public purse.

"The failure by the Presidency and the task team to take any concrete steps with regard to wasteful expenditure represents a profound failure of political will and leadership. Zuma must explain if and how he intends to deal with this matter," Mazibuko said.

The worst culprit was the cash- strapped SA Airways. Although it runs to Treasury every year asking for more money, SAA spent a whopping R23million on World Cup tickets.

The Department of Trade and Industry, headed by SACP central committee member Rob Davies, was the second-worst culprit. It spent R16,7million on the tickets.

Free State's Mangaung municipality spent R15million, even though alleged "out-of-control corruption" there is currently being investigated by an ANC and South African Municipal Workers Union task team.