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Govt denies R66m taxpayer bill for new ministeries

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The government dismissed reports on Wednesday that the reconfigured executive will cost taxpayers an additional R66 million a year.

“This continued inaccurate reporting is a wilful distortion of the budget appropriation process,” said Donald Liphoko, acting director general of the department of communication.

“The reports are misleading as Minister [Nhlanhla] Nene did not mince his words when he said the money would come from existing budgets, mostly through expenditure reprioritisation. This is by no means a suggestion of an extra burden to taxpayers”.

He said Cabinet restructuring as outlined by President Jacob Zuma was aimed at ensuring that the state operates efficiently and at its optimal level to deliver on government priorities and enhancing service delivery.

He was reacting to a report in the Sowetan that President Zuma’s reconfigured executive has cost taxpayers nearly R66 million to set up, despite earlier assurances that it would not cost taxpayers more than R40m.

The newspaper reported that the expenditure included R33,7 million for the establishment of Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s new department, according to the National Treasury’s 2014 estimates of the national expenditure released after the medium-term budget policy statement. The remainder was spent on three ministries and four deputy ministries. SAPA


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