CT Mayor spends R2,2 million on overseas travel (5 trips in 3,5 months)

I was interviewed on 567 Cape Talk this afternoon on todays front page Cape Argus article dealing with Mayor De Lille’s extravagant overseas travel expenditure. (the soundcloud link below)

Here are the facts:
* 5 trips in 3,5 months between 27 Aug and 4 Dec 2016 (not 5 months) budgeted to cost R2,266 million.
* The Mayor is taking all 5 trips and her portion of the travel is set to cost R900,000 (rounded).
* One senior City Director is on 4 of the 5 trips and his travel is set to cost R800,000 (rounded).
* Together, the City will spend R1,700,000 (rounded) on these two people amounting to over 75% of the R2,666,000.
* TRIP 1: to Turkey has already happened (27 Aug to 3 Sept) for the Mayor and 3 others. It was budgeted to cost R390,000 or +- R98,000 per person.
* This then is the Mayors second trip to Turkey since Dec 2014. The first trip in Dec 2014 was budgeted to cost R266,000 for 3 people for around 7 days, or R88,000 per person.
* TRIP 2: to The Hague has also already happened (8 Sept to 13 Sept). It was budgeted to cost R282,000 for 2 people (Mayor and Director Kesson) for 2 days so that means R141,000 per person or R70,000 per person per day. At least the Mayor spent 5 days in our City between the two trips.
* TRIP 3: is a 10 day round trip to several USA cities (6 – 16 Oct) budgeted to cost R850,000 for 3 people (Mayor and Director Kesson), so that’s R283,000 per person.
* TRIP 4: is to Paris (19-22 Nov) for 2 people (Mayor and Director Kesson) budgeted to cost R260,000 for 2 days or R130,000 each.
* TRIP 5: is a trip to Mexico (25 Nov to 4 Dec 2016) for 2 people (Mayor and Director Kesson) budgeted to cost R484,000 or R242,000 each. They jet off to Mexico a mere 3 days after landing in CT from Paris.
* With these 5 trips alone the Mayor will spend 5 times what the City spent in the whole of last year.
* Council has not received a single report from the Mayor or her fellow globe-trotters at least since the start of her 2011 – 2016 term of office, dedicated to documenting each trip, exposing the final cost to council (funded by the ratepayers), and detailing the evidence of benefits to the City, its policies, service delivery programmes and ultimately to US, the rate payers.
* Without such evidence, one can only assume that there was / is no benefit.

As the ACDP we urge the Mayor to reconsider these plans, failing which we want to see reports from each visit detailing the tangible evidence of benefit to CT from these trips.

Listen to the interview here

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