National News

Careful eye on ticket sales

2010-06-22 11:00

Johannesburg – The Taxpayers' Movement of SA (TPM) is closely following the issue of World Cup tickets it claims were purchased with taxpayers' money.

"We note that political parties and trade unions have lodged complaints with Treasury, and we are aware that Treasury has referred the matter to the Auditor General, so we will be monitoring the outcome," the non-political watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday.

The TPM would like to see the rest of government respecting Treasury's stance on the issue and, if necessary, would take the matter up with authorities.

Government employees needed to remember they were only custodians of taxpayer's money.

According to replies to parliamentary questions, five state departments had spent a total of R10.9m, while the Industrial Development Corporation had spent a further R12m on World Cup tickets.

"This R23m could have built 460 RDP houses, or paid for 230 nurses' salaries for a year, or educated 2 300 children for a year."

Financial crisis

It would take one middle-class taxpayer 328 years of personal tax to pay for these tickets.

"The SABC is said to have spent R3.3m on World Cup tickets and this is an entity which has been so mired in a financial crisis that the government has had to bail it out to the tune of R1.47bn using taxpayers' money, and commissioning of local programmes has been on hold for two years, with independent producers at the risk of closing down due to lack of payment."

Sentech had spent R1.04m on 96 tickets – R10 833 per ticket.

The trade and industry department had spent nearly R5m on "around" 320 tickets, which if correct made them the costliest tickets of the lot.

"Based on Sentech's lack of budgetary restraint, we would oppose any further tax funding of the signal regulator."

Read more on:    sabc


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