Research conducted by the DA’s Gareth van Onselen shows that President Jacob Zuma will cost South Africans in the region of R1 billion over two terms of office. This amounts to R103 544 233 a year, and almost R200 a minute.
This excessive spending on the President cannot be right when so many of our people live in abject poverty. It is time for us to establish a parliamentary committee on the Presidency that will enable citizens to hold the President accountable for this expenditure, and ensure that it is justifiable and fair.
We will be writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, to request a parliamentary debate on the matter.
Unrestrained spending by both the President and cabinet members is routinely justified in terms of its adherence to the Ministerial Handbook. President Zuma set up the task team to review a ministerial handbook in July 2009 following a public outcry over a luxury car shopping spree by national ministers. In the Western Cape, Premier Helen Zille introduced a “no frills” ministerial handbook for the provincial executive in May 2010. We are yet to see a revised version of the national guidelines.
In a country plagued by high levels of unemployment and extreme poverty, the fact that President Zuma is one of the best-paid leaders in the world and that the president and his family have become a massive drain on public spending is repulsive.
While millions of South Africans need access to basic services and jobs, President Zuma continues to spend hundreds of millions on his “privileges”.
His full list of expenses is as follows:
1. Annual Salary: [R2 275 802 to R2 753 689]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R12 315 706
2. Medical Aid: [At least R1 300 000 per year]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R6 500 000
3. Pension Payout on Retirement: [Approximately R2 753 689]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R2 753 689
4. Spousal Support: [At least R15 517 500 per year]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R77 585 000
5. Private Vehicle: [70% of salary - R1 835 792, for two vehicles]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R3 671 584
6. Flights – VIP Squadron: [An approximate average of: R46 838 476 per year]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R234 192 383
7. Flights – Additional: [R6 331 175 plus additional cost of two planes]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R10 000 000
8. Flights – VIP Protection Services: [Unknown]
9. Flights – Helicopters: [At least R14 400 000 per year]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R72 000 000
10. Overseas Allowances – President: [An average of R25 400 per year]
*Approximate Five year Total: R127 000
11. Overseas Allowances – First Ladies: [Unknown]
12. Accommodation – Hotels: [An average of R420 000 per year]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R2 100 000
13. Accommodation – Official Residences: [An average of R5 300 000 per year]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R26 500 000
14. Accommodation – Private Residences: [R6 400 000]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R6 400 000
15. VIP Protection [An average of at least R12 000 000 per year]
*Approximate Five Year Total: R60 000 000
16. Legal Costs: [Unknown]
This amounts to spending of R517 721 164 over a period of five years and an average of R103 544 233 per year.
Without a Committee to oversee the President it is difficult for Members of Parliament to ensure that the President tightens his belt.
Parliament must debate this matter and identify appropriate mechanism to ensure that the President’s spending remains in check. Public funds should benefit South Africans, not South African politicians.