There is good news and there is bad news.
The bad news:
A reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that the Department of Police has purchased two new ministerial vehicles to the combined value of some R1.3 million:
2008 BMW X5 3.0D (cost: R685 091 - including extras worth R80 000); and
2009 BMW X5 Si 3.0 (cost R677 270 - including extras worth R122 050)
The extras included the following:
electric seat adjustment.
Had the cars excluded the extras, the department would have saved the South African taxpayer some R200 000. The DA will be submitting a follow-up question to determine why the extra money was spent on luxuries that are entirely unnecessary.
The full reply follows below.
The department stated in its reply that the car was purchased in terms of the Ministerial Handbook. The DA has submitted to the Minister in the Presidency a series of austerity measures, one of which is a proposal that the percentage of a Minister's salary (70%) used to determine to what value a Minister can purchase a new car be reduced (to 50%), as the DA government has done in the Western Cape. The DA government has also put a freeze on the purchase of new ministerial cars.
The good news:
According to reports the Department of Defence has cancelled the purchase of a new ministerial vehicle as well as some furniture, which would have cost the taxpayer approximately R2.5 million.
This move, no doubt a response to the negative coverage surrounding what has become known as ‘cargate', is to be welcomed. The DA commends the Department of Defence and would hope that the precedent it has set down is adopted by other departments. It is a welcome departure from the attitude of some other department's and, the DA hopes, a sign of good things to come.
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO 413
DATE OF PUBLICATION IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 3 JULY 2009
(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 5 - 2009)
Date reply submitted: 3 August 2009
Mrs D A Schäfer (DA) to ask the Minister of Police:
(1) Whether he purchased a new vehicle on his appointment to office; if so, (a) why, (b) what make and model is the vehicle, (c) what did the vehicle cost and (d)(i) what accessories were included in excess of the vehicle's purchase price and (ii) what was the cost of such accessories; if not,
(2) whether he inherited an existing vehicle; if so, (a) what was the make and model and (b) how old is the vehicle?
(1)(a) No, on appointment the Minister inherited the following vehicles from the previous Minister, a BMW X5, 2003 model (SAP 201890T) and a Audi A8
(SAP BPK 294B) 2006 model.
Both these vehicles were however mechanical unsound and were replaced in terms of the Ministerial Handbook Chapter 5 Paragraph 1.4, with the following vehicles:
(b) 2008 BMW X5 3.0D and 2009 BMW X5 Si 3.0.
(c) R685 091,00 and R677 270,00 (including extras).
(d)(i) Innovations Package including items such as reverse cameras, navigation system, sport suspension, sunroof and electric seat adjustment.
(d)(ii) R80 000,00 and R122 050,00.
(2)(a) Yes, the Audi A8 and BMW X5 as per paragraph 1(a).
(b) Year of first registration - 2003 and 2006.
Reply to question 413 approved by Minister