Parliament's lavish food budget exposed

EWN can reveal that Parliament have a budget of R18m for just food and beverages.

EWN reveals Parliament’s food and beverage budget of R18 million.

CAPE TOWN - Eyewitness News can reveal that Parliament spent around R16 million on food and beverages last year.

Parliament said its budget for refreshments this last financial year stood at R18 million.

The house caters for several committee briefings and other major external events.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) believes Parliament has spent far too much money feeding politicians.

South Africans agree the spending is excessive.

"It's outrageous! What were they eating, oysters or lobster? "

Tea, coffee, cool drinks and large platters of finger food are often on the menu at committee briefings.

Parliament spokesman Luzuko Jacobs said they spent R16 million last year on providing snacks and drinks.

He stressed that catering is not limited to the dozens of briefings, but also other major events outside Parliament.

"In the 'Take Parliament to the People' programme we're looking at people in excess of 30,000."

Despite this, the DA's Watty Watson believes the spending is excessive.

"I think its money wasted. If they want a cool drink they must buy it themselves."

He believes most of the food ends up being wasted.

Watson added his party would ask Parliament for a full break down on catering expenses.

I have seen how platters of food that hasn't been eaten are taken away by staff, where are they taking it? Not to reserve?"

R16 million is equivalent to feeding eight million children twice a day.