Hon Chairperson, the latest reports that government spent more than R30 billion on consultants in the past financial year is indeed disturbing, to say the least.
This happened despite the commitments and the pronouncements made last year by both Ministers, Pravin Gordhan and Nhlanhla Nene, that allocations for consultants have been kept to a minimum and that measures have been put in place to deal with waste.
Why do we hire consultants at such exorbitant figures when there are people within government departments who are hired to do the same job? If they lack the capacity and skills, why don't we reskill them through rigorous training and support?
This expenditure is completely unacceptable, unjustifiable and it amounts to a gross misuse of public funds. It is actually criminal to misuse public money in the way that it is happening right now in the Zuma administration.
Many of our people out there do not have access to basic services such as water, electricity and housing, and yet money has been pumped into the pockets of consultants.
We are now suspicious that the utilisation of consultants' services of this magnitude by the ANC government is a strategy to enrich themselves by allocating such tenders to their friends outside government, and in some instances, comrades who are in government but doing business with government. Thank you. [Time expired.]