Manuel defends ticket splurge
Johannesburg - A distinction should be made between parastatals and state departments spending money on World Cup tickets, Minister in the National Planning Commission Trevor Manuel said on Monday, according to the SABC.
This follows an outcry over state entities spending millions on soccer tickets.
Manuel said parastatals were business entities that needed to make profits by engaging on a social level with clients.
"Some of the parastatals are business entities and these business entities have to run themselves in a particular way.
"We mustn't hyperventilate when the national airline takes tour operators and builds a relationship with them, because that is building the business.
"When you take a local authority or a government department and they spend taxpayers' money on themselves it's a different issue."
The Sunday Times reported that Eskom, which has been embroiled in a wage dispute, spent R80m on World Cup tickets.
South African Airways spent R23m on tickets, two months before getting a R1.6m bail-out from the government.
PetroSA and Transnet jointly spent R24m and the Free State provincial government and the Mangaung municipality spent almost R22m on tickets.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Monday reportedly called for a probe into government and state-owned entities' spending on tickets.