Gauteng Sports and Culture Budgets R6.3 million for Overseas Trips

November 4, 2014

Democratic Alliance statement by:
Paul Willemburg – MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation

In reply to DA questions regarding overseas trips undertaken by the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, MEC Molebatsi Bopape indicated that at least R6.3 million is budgeted for such undertakings in the current financial year.

These include trips to Ibiza, Spain, for the summer music season, the Victoria Falls Carnival and the Miami Winter Conference, another annual music festival.

This follows six overseas trips undertaken by the department in 2013/14, under the guise of ‘international relations’ to Manchester, London, Toronto, Egypt, Cuba and China.

The replies to my questions reveal excessive expenditure on these trips including R1,32 million on flights and R611 840 on accommodation. R365 000 alone was spent on flights for five departmental representatives travelling to Cuba.

Like much of our country, Gauteng suffers from a serious lack of sports infrastructure and development programmes.

It is imperative that all available funding be spent on the growth and upliftment of young people in the sports field and not on overseas trips.

The MEC was unable to justify why these overseas trips were prioritised over other more pressing mandates for the department, or how any of these excursions benefited the people of Gauteng directly.

If he is serious about upliftment through sports development he will redirect funds from attending music concerts and channel this into new sports facilities, school programmes and support of up-and-coming sports stars.

Media enquiries:
Paul Willemburg MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation
082 450 0815