Drakensberg, Kwazulu-natal
Drakensberg, Kwazulu-natal Margy Sneeden/Pixabay

The new KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC Francois Rodgers showed his commitment to smart budget spending by shutting down the office on the 9th floor of the Marine Building in Durban, explaining that it will save about R1 million a year.

Rodgers said the saved amount can be used for other important needs in the province. He added that the main goal was to stabilize KwaZulu-Natal's finances, and explained how he planned to work closely with the Treasury Department and the Members of the Executive Council to make more such strategic decisions.

"During my consultation with my executive team in the department, I directed that business cannot continue as usual and we need to streamline operations," he said, SA News reported.

"In this regard, I have decided to close the Durban office, which served as a secondary office with an annual lease amount of R1,115,786.40, translating to a total value of just over R5,578,000 over five years that we will save."

Rodgers said his team will work from the Pietermaritzburg office and follow the guidelines of the Ministerial handbook. He went on to express a desire to increase transparency in decision-making regarding resource allocation and use.

The MEC emphasized his readiness to make difficult decisions to show commitment to stabilizing the province's finances through careful fiscal management, adding that the KZN Treasury must set an example.

Rodgers, who is a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA), said he was dedicated to stabilizing spending, eliminating irregular expenditure in departments, attracting foreign investment, as well as ensuring accountability and transparency.

He is a part of the provincial cabinet that includes Members of the Provincial Legislature from the Inkatha Freedom Party, African National Congress (ANC), DA and National Freedom Party (NFP).

This Cabinet was announced last week by newly-inaugurated KwaZulu-Natal Premier Thami Ntuli. The new provincial cabinet members consist of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Musa Zondi (IFP), Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Thulasizwe Buthelezi (IFP), Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane (ANC) and Social Development MEC Mbali Shinga (NFP).

It also includes Public Works MEC Marthinus Meyer (DA), Finance MEC Rodgers (DA), Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa (IFP), Transport and Human Settlement MEC Siboniso Duma (ANC), Education MEC Sipho Hlomuka (ANC) alongside Sports Arts and Culture MEC Mntomuhle Khawula (IFP).