Over R48m to be spent on new ministerial mansions - Malcolm Figg

DA MP says DPW has procured one house so far at cost of R6,75m

Over R48 million to be spent on new ministerial mansions

In a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Public Works, the Department of Public Works revealed that it has budgeted R48 Million to acquire 6 additional Ministerial Houses within the 2017/18 financial year.

According to the presentation, the “Land Affairs Board” has only approved 1 house at a cost of R6.750 Million. The Department is currently sourcing the remaining 5 houses.

This extravagant spending comes on the back of an admission by the Department, in a reply to a DA parliamentary question, that R20,3 million will be spent on renovation costs for the upkeep of 11 ministerial residences in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

It has become clear that the bloated executive has become a burden on the country’s overstretched public finances. In order to appease competing factions in the ANC, President Zuma has increased the size of the cabinet despite clear evidence that government can no longer afford more spending commitments.

The bloated cabinet has simply become a waste of taxpayers’ money and will only worsen the poor state of public finances.

The DA will, therefore, write to the Minister to request that he provides concrete steps on how he plans to rein in this reckless spending on residences of members of the executive.

South Africa’s sluggish economy and growing budget deficit calls for restraint in government spending. The ANC government, however, appears far removed from this reality and continues to spend recklessly for the comfort and extravagant lifestyles of members of the executive.

The unrestrained spending is an insult to ordinary South Africans, of whom 9.4 million are unemployed and struggling to survive in this tough economic environment.

It is unacceptable that money that could be spent on initiatives to create jobs is being used to cater for unnecessary government accommodation costs.

If the Minister is serious about helping Treasury reign in the runaway budget deficit, the multi-million rand budget on ministerial home renovations must be cut substantially.

Government cannot honestly expect South Africans to tighten their belts when it is doing the exact opposite.

Statement issued by Dr Malcom Figg MP, DA Shadow Minister of Public Works, 19 November 2017