Question NW1810 to the Minister of Arts and Culture
18 June 2018 - NW1810
Maynier, Mr D to ask the Minister of Arts and Culture
1) Whether (a) his spouse and/or (b) an adult family member accompanied him on any official international trip (i) in each of the past five financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2018; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (aa) is the name of the person(s), (bb) was the (aaa) purpose and (bbb) destination of the trip and (cc) was the (aaa) total cost and (bbb) detailed breakdown of the costs of the accompanying person(s) to his department; (2) whether each of the specified trips were approved by the President in terms of the provisions of Section 1, Annexure A of the Ministerial Handbook; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The Ministerial Handbook outlines provisions for international travel for members of the executive and their family members. Members of the Executive are regularly invited to participate in international conferences or forums in order to promote a South African agenda and brand that benefits or showcases the country.
Ministers and Deputy Ministers must approach the President in writing, two weeks in advance of a planned official visit abroad, to request approval for the intended visit and the appointment of an acting Minister.
Section 3 stipulates provisions that allows for Ministers and Deputy Minister’s to be accompanied by their spouses or an adult family member, subject to relevant processes and approvals of an official trip abroad.
The department covers the cost of travel once all processes, policies and approvals have been adhered to and applied and this is subject to the availability of funding.
However, the Auditor General audits, amongst others, expenditure related to travel expenses borne by the department and produces audited opinions on departmental Annual Reports, which is tabled in parliament annually.