Minister Xingwana's UN Trip Must Be Investigated

6 March 2013      


The IFP calls for an investigation into the costs incurred during the current trip by the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Lulu Xingwana, and her delegation to the 57th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) at the UN headquarters in New York.


Minister Xingwana is accompanied by her Acting DG, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities, as well as delegations of various other Ministers, such as the Minister of Social Development.


IFP Spokesperson on Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP, asked, "Why was such a large delegation sent in the first place, when there are limited opportunities for the South African delegation to participate in the sessions? Is the taxpayer footing a massive travel bill for the South African delegation, which is apparently always much bigger than other delegations, simply to be observers?"


Van der Merwe added, "It is imperative to investigate the amount spent in respect of travel costs for the Minister and her delegation as we believe these costs will be inordinately high. The dark cloud of wasteful expenditure already hangs over the Minister's head, since she spent R2.1m on redecorating her office with new custom-made furniture."


Van der Merwe further stated that, "The Minister has other pressing responsibilities. South Africans with disabilities currently face many challenges, including access to public schools, access to buildings and discrimination in the job market. All these challenges must be dealt with by a competent and focused Minister which, we submit, is not the case at present."


The IFP reiterates that Ministers who fail in their portfolios must not be protected for the sake of political expediency. Ministers should be judged on their performance, or lack thereof, in order to assess their ability to run national departments.


Issued by:

IFP Spokesperson on Women, Children and People with Disabilities,

Hon Ms Liezl van der Merwe, MP



IFP Parliamentary Caucus' Media Liaison Officer, Mr Phendulani Biyase on 073 024 5675