We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Here’s how much ministers have allegedly spent on food, entertainment and accommodation under Ramaphosa

Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola's department was the biggest spender. File photo.
Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola's department was the biggest spender. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The DA has again slammed cabinet ministers for allegedly splurging hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

This week the party issued a statement accusing 18 ANC ministers, deputy ministers and their departments of allegedly spending more than R1.4bn on catering, entertainment and accommodation since President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government took office on May 19 2019.

According to DA MP Leon Schreiber, the information was obtained through parliamentary questions.

Schreiber said over the past three years, which citizens mostly spent under lockdown, the ANC national government allegedly spent at least R1.2bn on accommodation, R157m on catering and R12m on entertainment for ministers, deputy ministers and others employed by national government departments.

“While millions of South Africans go to bed hungry, ANC cadres kept partying on taxpayer money all throughout lockdown,” he said.

This how much ministers allegedly spent on catering, entertainment and accommodation combined:

The biggest spenders 

  • Ronald Lamola’s department of justice and correctional services — R293m;
  • [Former minister] Lindiwe Sisulu’s departments of human settlements and water and sanitation — R252m;
  • Angie Motshekga’s department of basic education — R149m;
  • Aaron Motsoaledi’s department of home affairs — R149m;
  • Barbara Creecy’s department of forestry, fisheries and the environment — R137m, and;
  • Naledi Pandor’s department of international relations and co-operation — R127m.

What other ministers spent

  • Blade Nzimande’s department of higher education, science and innovation R74m;
  • [Former minister] Zweli Mkhize’s department of health — R67m;
  • Gwede Mantashe’s department of mineral resources & energy and energy — R55m;
  • Fikile Mbalula’s department of transport  — R34m;
  • [Former minister] Ayanda Dlodlo’s department of public service & administration  — R26m;
  • Patrica de Lille’s department of public works and infrastructure — R21m;
  • Stella Ndabeni-Abraham’s department of small business  — R12m;
  • [Former minister] Tito Mboweni’s department of finance  — R11m;
  • Pravin Gordhan’s department of public enterprises — R5m;
  • Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s department of women, youth and people with disabilities  — R1m;
  • Ebrahim Patel’s department of trade, industry and competition — R87,000, and;
  • Nathi Mthethwa’s department of sports, arts and culture — refused to answer


The department hit back at the DA, saying it was working and not partying with taxpayer money. 

Spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said the DA was trying to create a political frenzy.

“This is conveniently done to ascribe the expenditure incurred in the course of performing functions as a spending spree. This, in turn, is used as a propaganda tool to portray the government of the day in a manner which suits a particular political agenda,” Phiri said

He said in the case of the justice department, the expenditure incurred covers magistrates’ costs. 

“Financial prescripts relating to catering expenditure define it as expenditure incurred on individuals employed or contracted to the department or individuals outside the employ of the department in connection with the activities of a department, or division within a department, that directly relates to the achievement of its objectives,” said Phiri.

“Entertainment expenditure is expenditure incurred by members of the senior management service as well as ministers, deputy ministers and their office bearers in performance of their duties. 

“Accommodation expenditure relates to reasonable actual accommodation costs where an employee must take an official journey. In other words, all these types of expenditure relate to official duties in line with departmental activities and objectives.”

He said the department went to “great lengths” to ensure courts remained open during the Covid-19 lockdown and that the expenditure for accommodation for officials and magistrates who travel for work-related purposes was justifiable.

“How does the DA think this would have been possible without incurring costs? To portray this as ‘partying’ is politically opportunistic. By the same token, had the department underspent on its budget, it would surely be accused by the DA of not performing its functions,” he said. 

Lamola said while his department welcomes attempts to conduct parliamentary oversight over the executive, information should not be used to “manipulate” the public.

“Such information must be used to enlighten citizens so that information must be correct and put into context,” said Lamola.

“This is why we have the office of the auditor-general and bodies such as the Select Committee on Public Accounts who scrutinise departmental expenditure. Where such expenditure cannot be explained or is found to be fruitless and wasteful, the necessary consequence management and disciplinary processes are followed.”


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.