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South Africa: Radical Cost-Cutting Measures Set for Government
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Focus: Information Access, Citizens’ Service Delivery, E-Customs
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 14, 2013

The government plans to introduce the new measures, which form the latest in the government’s move to clamp down on wasteful expenditure, by December 1.
When it comes to the purchasing of cars for ministers, the cost of each car will be standardised, Gordhan said, adding that all cars purchased by government ministers will have to be more or less the equivalent of a BMW530 series.
Added to this, the government will also consider bulk purchasing when buying cars for ministers.
The hiring of cars by public servants will also be limited to those of B-Class rental vehicles.
To reduce travel costs, the number of delegates allowed to attend overseas trips would also be capped, while all flight routes will have to be limited to the shortest flying routes.
Officials will also no longer be able to travel first-class, while business-class travel will be limited to directors-general locally and to both directors-general and deputy directors-general on international flights.
The cost implications of having government functions split between Cape Town and Pretoria would also have to be considered, he said.
For example, the number of officials in national departments’ Cape Town offices will also have to be limited, while the size of delegations from departments travelling between Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town, will also have to be kept to a minimum.
New refurbishment guidelines for housing will also be drafted by the Department of Public Works with limits set on the amount that the state can make available for updating the homes officials stay in.
Departments will also no longer be allowed to issue credit cards to officials and those with credit cards already in existence must be scrapped.
While a R2 000 cap on entertainment allowances will also be put in place, new guidelines will be also be developed for catering and event costs and officials will have to favour government facilities over private ones when hosting events.
On top of this, the state will no longer cover the cost of alcohol at government events.
Government departments will also be obligated to use the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) when looking to place advertisements in media, which should help to significantly bring down the state’s advertising costs.
All departments and officials will have to abide by the new regulations and provide valid reasons in any requests they make for exceptions to be made to these rules.
Gordhan added that further cost-cutting measures that would affect public servants, would be detailed in the weeks ahead, as the Minister of Public Administration and Service, Lindiwe Sisulu, completes her department’s ministerial handbook.
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