1. It appears that some uncertainty exists regarding the claiming of subsistence and travel expenses when an employee of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is away from headquarters on official business and must stay over for the night. To clarify this matter, the following situations are sketched:
1.1 When an employee is away from his or her headquarters and on an official visit which lasts longer than 24 hours and must stay over for the night, the most common practice is to claim the amount payable to the hotel or guesthouse. This amount would normally include breakfast, but if essential expenses have to be incurred for meals, they will also be refundable on submission of receipts, together with the invoice of the hotel or guesthouse. In such cases, where expenses are claimed, a special daily allowance, which is currently R67,50 per full 24 hours, may also be claimed per full day or part thereof. The purpose of the special daily allowance is to compensate employees for small expenses like tips, newspapers, etc.
1.2 When the expenses of an employee of the WCED are paid by another party or when the accommodation account is settled directly by the Department, in other words, it is not necessary for the employee to settle the account out of his or her own pocket and to claim the expense from the Department, the employee will still be entitled to claim the special daily tariff (currently R67,50) mentioned above. The general practice, however, is that this expense is seldom claimed.
1.3 In certain circumstances, for instance, when an employee stays with family or friends or when he or she goes camping, a fixed daily allowance, which is currently R221,00 per day, may be claimed. When this allowance is claimed, no other subsistence expenses of any nature will be paid, not even the special daily allowance, which is currently R67,50.
2. To summarise: For periods of longer than 24 hours when an employee is away from headquarters, claims may be submitted as follows:
2.1 When the accommodation costs are more than the daily allowance (currently R221,00), and the account has to be settled by the employee, the employee may claim the full cost (as per invoice, which must be submitted together with the claim) plus the special daily allowance (currently R67,50).
2.2 When the accommodation costs are more than the daily allowance (currently R221,00) and are paid directly by the WCED or any other organisation, only the special daily allowance (currently R67,50) may be claimed.
2.3 When either no cost of accommodation or less than the daily allowance (R221,00 at present) is payable, for example when an employee stays over with family or friends, only the daily allowance (currently R221,00) may be claimed.
3. When an employee is away from headquarters for less than 24 hours, only expenses in respect of meals may be claimed. The following tariffs are currently applicable and refunding is strictly subject to the submission of cash/till slips or invoices indicating the date, time and place of the purchase, as well as exactly what was bought.
Breakfast - R33,95 (if the employee left home before 06:00)
Lunch - R41,90 (if the employee returns after 14:00)
Dinner - R58,90 (if the employee returns after 20:00)  
Midnight snack - (if the employee returns after 02:00)
Tea/Coffee/Cold drinks: R6,77 (maximum of twice a day)
4. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of all staff who can be expected to be away from headquarters from time to time.

DATE: 2007:11:13