Gigaba denied departure from travel policy to make up for PA’s arrivals terminal troubles

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s “belt-tightening measures” means Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s personal assistant will still be fastening her seatbelt in economy class.

A request for the aide to travel business class — to prevent Gigaba “arriving late for scheduled appointments” – was stamped “NOT APPROVED”.

It was one of the 22 – out of 28 — requests for deviations from cost containment measures that National Treasury refused to accede to April 1‚ 2015 and July 31‚ 2016.

“…Gordhan‚ is clearly desperately trying to hold the fiscal line but his belt-tightening measures are being resisted by ministers and officials too accustomed to the high life‚” said the Democratic Alliance’s David Maynier after receiving the information in a reply to his parliamentary question.

These cost containment measures were originally introduced during Gordhan’s first stint as finance minister three years ago in his National Treasury Instruction No. 1 of 2013/14.

Maynier highlighted Home Affairs’ request‚ which was motivated thus: “The minister was inconvenienced and had to further wait for the disembarking of the personnel assistant from another terminal to be able to proceed with the trip which resulted in the minister arriving late for scheduled appointments.”

Treasury‚ in refusing approval‚ suggested this: “The fact that there may be time delays as a result of the minister and his personal assistant disembarking from different airport terminals should be taken into account by the department when planning official trips.”

Maynier said that‚ despite Treasury’s cost containment measures‚ “spending increased on travel and subsistence by R215.58 million‚ or 2%‚ from R9.06 billion in 2014/15 to R9.27 billion in 2015/16”.

He vowed to “identify big spending ministers who are undermining cost containment measures being implemented by National Treasury”.

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