Today is D-Day – or should that be C-Day – for politicians. In October, finance minister Pravin Gordhan reported in his mid-term budget speech that government credit cards would soon be a thing of the past, as existing ones would be cancelled and no new ones would be issued.
This is one of the measures he has implemented to bring down high levels of wasteful spending in the public sector. For taking this decisive step, Gordhan is the Corruption Watch hero for the week.
In its 6 November issue, the Government Gazette published a draft amendment to the regulations of the Public Finance Management Act for public comment. Under the amendment, 15 November is the day from which new credit cards would no longer be issued for running up big bills with taxpayers’ money.
There’s more bad news for officials, as the gazette states that “the accounting officer of an institution must cancel each credit or debit card issued before 15 November 2013 and valid on that date for the use of the executive authority or other office bearer in relation to, or the accounting officer or other official of, the institution, with effect from
a) 15 November 2013 or
b) If the terms for the credit cards requires a longer period of notice, with effect from the earliest date in terms of those terms.”
News24 reported that, according to treasury spokesperson Phumza Macanda, the credit card cut applied to the entire government and state-owned companies.
Read about the blow to big spending habits on News24.