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Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul must account for overseas trips – DA

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants a system implemented to ensure the regular reporting by the Northern Cape premier Dr Zamani Saul on his international trips.

The party says it will submit a formal request to the provincial legislature in a bid to hold the premier accountable for his overseas trips.

“While the new financial year has just recently gotten underway, we are aware that the Premier has already been on two separate overseas trips to attract investment for the green hydrogen project and the Prieska power reserve project,” said Harold McGluwa, DA’s Northern Cape provincial leader.

“Unlike opposition parties in the Saldanha Municipality in the Western Cape stopping a DA Mayor for an overseas trip, we appreciate the Premier’s efforts spending time overseas, hunting down investments. Nonetheless, this doesn’t absolve the Premier from having to account for his trips.”

Asked about his planned trips for the year during a recent portfolio committee, Saul replied that he would embark on “many trips overseas”.

“This is not adequate. Instead, we need the Office of the Premier to supply the legislature portfolio committee with a detailed notification, including details pertaining to costs and the delegation, prior to his trips, and a full report following every trip,” said McGluwa.

“As raised in yesterday’s budget vote debate on the Office of the Premier, it is understandable that, as possibilities of investments heighten, unplanned trips may arise, but this is even more reason to ensure that the Premier is reporting on expeditions and that we have a way to track and monitor them.”

He said when state funds are involved, the legislature has a duty to ensure that international trips are cost effective, offer value for money and have a transparent agenda. “We also have a right to know what budget has been set aside for this purpose, from which budget the trips are being paid and who the individuals are that make up the accompanying delegation,” said McGluwa.

The party says it will submit a formal request to the legislature to ensure that reports for the Premier’s last two international trips are urgently submitted, and that similar reports on future trips also become a standing requirement.

“This is because we have the responsibility of holding the Premier accountable,” said McGluwa.

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