Government as a collective and through Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg has cut Minister of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Princess Sikhanyiso’s travel, communication and transport budget by a bellowing 68.8 percent.
This is according to the latest Estimate Book which was made public alongside the announcement of the National Budget by Rijkenberg on Friday 26 February. The budget was cut by E661 291(2020/21) to stand at E299 244 (2021/22).
Overall, the minister slashed Cabinet Minister’s travel, communication and transport budgets by 22 percent. But strikingly, the budget of the ICT minister was the only one that was cut by over 60 percent. Noteworthy, the princess had not been in office and stopped attending Cabinet meetings since March 2020 up to date. Minister of Commerce Manqoba Khumalo had been holding fort, albeit on acting basis.
Another minister who saw his budget hugely reduced is the Minister of Labour and Social Security. This ministry doesn’t have a substantive minister following the demise of Makhosi Vilakati. Pholile Shakhantu is the acting minister. The budget was slashed by E841 740 from E1 422 153 to stand at E1 171 257.
Another notable cut of travel, communication and transport cost was that of the minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Peter Bhembe. It was slashed by 25.5 percent from E311 165 to E241 125.
The other ministers travel, communication and transport were cut by 16.9 percent and they include the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Tinkhundla, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Economic Planning and Developemnt, Minister of Commerce, Minister of Public Service, Minister of Home Affairs.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Minister of Health, Minister of Public Works, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, and Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs saw their budget for travel, communication and transport reduced by 17 percent.
Table showing budget allocation for Travel, Communication and Transport costs for 2020/21 and 2021/22
|Ministry||2020/21 allocation||2021/22 allocation estimate||Percentage decline|
|Ministry of Tourism and Environmental affairs||E929 842||E771 769||16.9%|
|Deputy Prime Minister||E333 897||E277 135||16.9%|
|Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation||E883 493||E733 299||17.0%|
|Ministry of Defence||E11 327 973||E9 402 218||16.9%|
|Ministry of Tinkhudla||E1 126 460||E934 962||16.9%|
|Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy||E311 165||E241 125||25.5%|
|Ministry of Agriculture||E124 559||E103 384||16.9%|
|Ministry of Economic Planning and Economic Development||E916 884||E761 014||16.9%|
|Ministry of Housing and Urban Development||E173 069||E143 647||17.0%|
|Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade||E1 260 520||E1 046 232||16.9%|
|Ministry of Education and Training||E81 074||E67 291||16.9%|
|Ministry of Finance||E1 411 153||E1 171 257||16.9%|
|Ministry of Labour and Social Security||E1 422 000||E580 260||59.1%|
|Ministry of Public Service||E96 996||E80 507||16.9%|
|Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology||E960 535||E299 244||68.8%|
|Ministry of Health||E236 209||E194 913||17.4%|
|Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs||E71 762||E59 562||17.0%|
|Ministry of Home Affairs||E53 509||E47 732||16.9%|
|Ministry of Public Works||E57 509||E47 732||17.0%|
|Ministry of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs||E245 598||E203 846||17.0%|
|Overall Total||E22 024 599||E17 164 453||22%|