The Free State government has rejected reports that it has spent more than 20 million rand to inaugurate Premier Sisi Ntombela. However, the government says it is yet to count the costs of the ceremony.
Opposition parties have boycotted the function, citing wasteful expenditure.
The provincial government used Wednesday’s function to inaugurate the new Premier, but to also bid farewell to her predecessor, Ace Magashule.
Public servants told to knock-off early to attend the ceremony to welcome the new Premier, and bid farewell to the outgoing one.
It’s a function that had all the trimmings of a celebration.
As Government remains unrepentant following allegations of wasteful expenditure.
Free State Director General, Kopung Ralikontsane says no figures had been put in place by the provincial government as they still need to reconcile their figures.
“We don’t understand these people are simply politicking who are saying this is a waste of tax payers money. They are even putting figures, we have not discussed figures with anybody. We will indicate and will issue a proper statement where we have reconciled the costs of the event properly to the Free State communities.”
For the new premier, top of her agenda will be a cabinet reshuffle.
Ntombela says MECs will be assessed in 6 months to see whether they have delivered according to the new budget allocation.
Weighing in, former Premier Ace Magashule has discouraged land grabs. He said land must be given to people and that it will be given to people responsibly by the municipality.
A gala dinner that was scheduled to be held this evening has been called off. The Director General says the decision to cancel it is because the ceremony took longer than envisaged.