by Janet Semple MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development
Gauteng Department of Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile’s vanity has seen his department blow an additional R13.4 million on deviations in the 2017/18 financial year, all of which has been spent on advertising.
According to the department’s fourth quarterly report, an additional R4 million was spent on advertising – over and above this item’s R14 million budget.
Total over-expenditure on advertising for the 2017/18 financial year amounted to R17.4 million.
Despite austerity measures and directives from both National and Provincial Treasuries to curb unnecessary expenditure, MEC Maile’s narcissism has gobbled up funds that could have been better spent on job creation and youth empowerment programmes.
When questioned in the Gauteng Legislature by the DA, MEC Maile denied that the department had over spent on advertising, yet the fourth quarterly report and written replies to DA questions tell a different story.
Millions have been spent to “promote” the department, yet the MEC could not substantiate what return on investment this excessive spend has brought the department.
While thousands of Gauteng residents remain unemployed and economically inactive, MEC Maile has seen fit to waste public money on what can only be described as a narcissistic campaign.
It is highly probable that this excessive advertising spend was to boost MEC Maile’s profile ahead of the Gauteng ANC’s elective congress.
Despite this, Maile’s attempt to ascend to the second highest position in the party failed.
This is not the only thing Maile has failed at. Prudent financial controls in the department have failed.
Given the high rate of unemployment across Gauteng, a DA provincial government in 2019 will get to work to create an environment conducive to job creation and economic growth.
Under a DA government, vanity projects will be the first thing scrapped and the funds re-directed to citizen-based economic inclusion initiatives.