The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA), Thembi Godi, to request that he launch an investigation into the chartering of a flight to the tune of R807 326, 00 to Abuja, Nigeria on the 7th May 2014 by the National Treasury and the Departments of Trade and Industry and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. This was revealed in a reply to a DA parliamentary question today.
I will submit further parliamentary questions on these flight details and why it was necessary to charter an aircraft in the first place. The DA will also attempt to determine all the names of those who were on this flight, and whether any attempt to find a cheaper alternative was made.
According the reply, the costs incurred were for the use of:
2 Pilots and 1 Host
Accommodation for crew
Fuel and surcharges
Passenger and baggage handling fees
Over flight and landing permissions
Air navigation charges
On-board catering and refreshments
Airport fees and
According to the Ministerial Handbook, Chapter 6, section 4.2.1, members may only under the exceptional circumstances arrange Chartered Aircraft Services:
a) If there are time constraints in reaching the destination
b) Whether the services of commercial flights are not cost-effective andor readily available
c) Health reasons
It is not clear in the reply if any of these conditions above necessitated the chartering of this flight. It is therefore essential that SCOPA get to the bottom of this matter and make their findings public.
The DA trusts that this will be welcomed by all three government departments in question.
The DA will continue to rigorously monitor every rand spent by government to ensure that public money is used to the betterment of all South Africans and not for a select few.
Alf Lees, SCOPA Standing Committee on Public Accounts
Source : Democratic Alliance