R1.5 million IEC workshop at luxury 5-star resort raises eyebrows

Treasury has ordered government departments and organisations to tighten their belts after reports of extravagant spending.

Yet the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has splurged R1.5 million on a four-day 'strategic planning workshop' at Africa Pride Mount Grace Country House and Spa in Magaliesburg. This despite reports that it is cash-strapped after exceeding its budget during the 2016 municipal elections.

Marco Granelli, senior communications manager at the IEC, explains the decision to Charlotte Kilbane (standing in for Stephen Grootes) on The Midday Report.

He acknowledged that the IEC did indeed spend the money on the workshop. he says the amount covered hotel accommodation costs, venue costs and travel for all staff attending.

He added that the IEC is a very decentralised organisation with staff spread across the entire country with a relatively small head office. Staff were coming from each province to attend.

So they needed to come to a central venue and unfortunately the head office does not have the facilities to cater for a workshop of that size...so we needed a venue anyway that made sense.

Marco Granelli, senior communications manager IEC

Granelli said the IEC travel agent found this venue which offered a very competitive rate which was in line with treasury regulations and IEC's own policy.

There were no rules or laws broken here.

Marco Granelli, senior communications manager IEC

The electoral Commission is acutely aware of the financial situation of the country and the need to be as frugal as possible. But at the same time we have to balance our work and what we are needing to do, and especially the preparation for the elections in 2019.

Marco Granelli, senior communications manager IEC

Preparation for a general election take at least eighteen months to two years, he noted.

Granelli denies that the IEC chief executive tried to cancel the workshop and says rather he had wanted to postpone it.

He explained why...

Exco had met that day and the IEC is anticipating a R71 million adjustment, or additional funding, from Treasury as part of the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, and the Bill was postponed in Parliament because there wasn't a quorum.

Marco Granelli, senior communications manager IEC

When the anticipated R71million was delayed on that day, Granelli admits it did place great pressure on the IEC's cash-flow.

Due to that the CEO and Exco had taken a decision in conjunction with the Commission that day that it would be preferable to postpone the event until the cash-flow improved.

Marco Granelli, senior communications manager IEC

Unfortunately he says, the venue could not be cancelled at such late notice without a cancellation fee, so the workshop went ahead.

Listen to IEC's Marco Granelli explain why he feels the workshop expenditure was justified...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Nehawu Wits acting secretary Tumisho Madihlaba says negotiations with management deadlocked resulting in a strike.

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

‘Documents show that the fee contract was entered into by Anoj Singh & signed off by the acting CEO Sean Maritz' - Chris Yelland

‘Qedani Mahlangu helped people die then she ran away’ – Stephen Grootes

‘Qedani Mahlangu helped people die then she ran away’ – Stephen Grootes

Stephan Grootes shares his views on the events that unfolded at Life Esidimini and comments on Qedani Mahlangu’s apology.

Metrorail train derails due to vandalism on the central line

Metrorail train derails due to vandalism on the central line

The Central line was set to resume services on Thursday but has been postponed due to vandalism at Heideveld and Netreg stations.

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May the Fourth be with you, a celebration of Star Wars Day

May 4 marks "May the Fourth be with you," Day celebrated by fans George Lucas' fans of his Star Wars global movie franchise.

IEC comes out tops in Afrobarometer survey

IEC comes out tops in Afrobarometer survey

Afrobarometer findings of a survey done in 36 countries on quality of elections shows IEC is one of most trusted electoral bodies.

Popular articles
4 things you should never say if you want to get rich

4 things you should never say if you want to get rich

Don’t ever say or, worse, believe any of these wealth-destroying platitudes, implores personal finance expert Warren Ingram.

Fraudsters are getting professional, scamming consumers with ingenious methods

Fraudsters are getting professional, scamming consumers with ingenious methods

“It makes all of us a target to fraudsters,” warns Manie van Schalkwyk of the South African Fraud Prevention Service.

'We have evidence that the EFF and Julius Malema took bribes for tenders'

'We have evidence that the EFF and Julius Malema took bribes for tenders'

Arabile Gumede interviews Stefaans Brummer, a journalist at the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

[WATCH] 'If this world were mine', grocery store impromptu rendition goes viral

[WATCH] 'If this world were mine', grocery store impromptu rendition goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

South Africans are increasingly buying cars they can’t afford using balloon payments, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Forensic investigator pokes holes in Watson death probe

Forensic investigator pokes holes in Watson death probe

The recent findings of a private pathologist ruled out suicide as the cause of death of the former Bosasa boss.