The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned by reports that President Jacob Zuma is seeking to hire luxury vehicles in each of seven provinces for the purpose of transporting his wives. Thus far, over R69 million has been wasted by this administration on luxury vehicles – enough to build over 1 200 RDP houses. Such expenditure is both self-indulgent and reckless in a country facing widespread poverty and unemployment.
The Presidency’s latest expenditure scandal highlights the need for Cabinet to make public the proposed amendments to the Ministerial Handbook, which sets out guidelines for benefits and privileges to which Ministers and their families are entitled. President Zuma has stalled on the release of these changes for over a year.
Far from leading by example in reining in wasteful expenditure, the Presidency has during Jacob Zuma’s tenure gained a reputation for misuse of public funds. Just last week it was revealed that almost R200 million has been allocated to the upgrading of the President’s Pretoria residence over the next three years. A further R165 million has been set aside for the building of SAPS offices and an executive military health facility at the Bryntirion Estate, where the homes of cabinet members, including the President, are situated.
Such wasteful expenditure underscores President Zuma’s insincerity when repeatedly stating his administration’s commitment to alleviating poverty, improving performance, and reforming service delivery. It makes a mockery of the R6.8 million the Presidency has pledged to save over the next three years (a mere fraction of the hundreds of millions being spent on maintaining President Zuma’s luxurious lifestyle) as proof of its supposed commitment to tackling wasteful expenditure.
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