Presidency mulls moratorium on official spousal travel

28 May 2018 - 14:31 By Linda Ensor
Former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his wife Norma. File photo.
Former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his wife Norma. File photo.

The Presidency is reviewing the current practice whereby members of the executive are allowed to take their spouses and/or adult family members with them on international trips.

This emerged from a letter sent to Democratic Alliance spokesman on finance David Maynier by the director general of the Presidency and secretary of the Cabinet‚ Cassius Lubisi.

Lubisi responded to Maynier's letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa proposing that he consider placing a moratorium on this practice and ordering a review of the sections of the ministerial handbook sections dealing with international official journeys for spouses and adult family members.

Maynier said in a statement that a moratorium on the practice would send the right “fiscal signals”. His letter to the president followed revelations that former finance minister and current Minister of Home Affairs.

Malusi Gigaba spent R873‚366.68 of taxpayers’ money on taking his wife to investor roadshows in the financial capitals of the world‚ including China‚ the United Kingdom and the United States.

Maynier said it was "staggering" that the minister had blown this amount "on what were in reality a series of intercontinental shopping trips for his wife in the financial capitals of the world".

"We hope that President Ramaphosa will not wait for the implementation of the review of the size and shape of the national executive to take decisive action to clamp down on wasteful expenditure by the national executive‚" Maynier said.

- BusinessLIVE