PARTY

Presidential residences costing R5,3m to run - DA

Athol Trollip questions whether Minister Chabane has provided full disclosure

Presidential residences: Houses cost state far in excess of official figure

I have today received a parliamentary reply from the Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, regarding state expenditure on the five Presidential Residences. His response is a clear attempt to conceal the truth from the South African public and raises serious concerns about the Presidency's approach to accountability.

A copy of this reply follows below. 

Firstly, Minister Chabane's disingenuous response, which was submitted over five months late, is indicative of the ANC government's disdain for transparency, as it fails to supply complete information about the cost of the President's five official residences to the state.

The information that the reply does provide, offers a further insight into the burgeoning costs associated with the office of President Zuma. In addition, given that Minister Chabane has refused to supply details of how often the President and Deputy President have used these homes, it is very difficult for the South African public to make an assessment of whether the bill for President Zuma's official residences is in any way justified.

Today's reply revealed that the cost of three of the five residences has increased between 2008/9 and 2009/10, with the cost of the President's Pretoria residence, Mahlambandlopfu, increasing by over R1 million. In total, the running costs of the five Presidential residences are in excess of R5 300 000 for 2009/10. 

This figure excludes the salary costs of the 113 staff employed to service these homes. Minister Chabane has therefore attempted to only reveal a small portion of the total cost of these houses to the state. This is a clear attempt by the Presidency to conceal the true cost of these homes from the public.

Minister Chabane's refusal to supply details of how many days the President and Deputy President have spent at each residence is a further attempt to deny South Africans access to information about how their money is spent. The President and Deputy President both have official diaries, which dedicated staff are employed to manage.

The Presidency could very easily tell whether the President or Deputy President was staying in a particular residence or not, merely by looking at which province they were in on any given day.

I will be submitting a parliamentary question to Minister Chabane about who manages the diaries of the President and Deputy President, how much they are paid and when, according to their records, the President and Deputy President stayed in each official home.

I will be taking a number of additional steps in response to Minister Chabane's reply.

Firstly, I will be writing to the Speaker to raise my concerns about the Presidency's dismissive handling of this matter and the blatant disregard for transparency and accountability it displays.

Secondly, I will be submitting a follow-up question to Minister Chabane regarding the total salary costs of the residences' staff, and a question to the Minister of Public Works, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, regarding the maintenance costs of the Presidential residences.

In a week when the President has made numerous grand commitments to improving government accountability, the Presidency must come clean about the full cost of the President's residences, and prove that it does not regard itself as exempt from this principle.

PARLIAMENTARY REPLY:

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NUMBER: 1600
DATE FOR PUBLICATION: -21 MAY 2010
DATE REPLY SUBMITTED: -2 NOVEMBER 2010

THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION:

(1)  With regard to each of the five official presidential residences (name furnished) in each of the past five financial years, what was the (a) full staff compliment, (b)(i) title and (ii) annual salary of each staff member; (c) breakdown of annual maintenance costs, (d) number of days that (i) he and (ii) the Deputy President have spent in residence at each of the residences;

(2)  Whether any other person has resided at any of the above five official presidential residences in any of the past five financial years; if so, (a) who and (b) for how many day?

NW1863E

REPLY:

1 (a&b) As staff are not necessarily based entirely in one household, a list of the total staff complement and the positions occupied in the Households section is attached as Annexure A. The salary levels range between level 4 and level 11 of the public service.

(c) Details of the expenditure is attached as Annexure B

(d) No official records are kept of the days that the President or Deputy President have spent in the residences.

2. Apart from the President, Deputy President and their families, no other person resides at the residences.

Annexure A

2006/2007 Financial Year 

Job Title

Total

Household Manager

4

Housekeeping Manager

5

Catering Manager

4

Assistant Chef

5

Supervisor: Private and Personal

5

Supervisor: Housekeeping

4

Switchboard Operator/Receptionist

8

Kitchen Assistant

7

Steward

20

Room Attendant

9

Housekeeping Assistant

19

Laundry Assistant

2

Valet

7

Messenger/Driver

6

Driver

1

2007/2008 Financial Year 

Job Title

Total

Household Manager

4

Housekeeping Manager

5

Catering Manager

4

Assistant Chef

5

Supervisor: Private and Personal

5

Supervisor: Housekeeping

4

Switchboard Operator/Receptionist

8

Kitchen Assistant

7

Steward

20

Room Attendant

9

Housekeeping Assistant

19

Laundry Assistant

2

Valet

7

Messenger/Driver

6

Driver

1

2008/2009 Financial Year 

Job Title

Total

Household Manager

4

Housekeeping Manager

5

Catering Manager

4

Assistant Chef

5

Supervisor: Private and Personal

5

Supervisor: Housekeeping

4

Switchboard Operator/Receptionist

8

Kitchen Assistant

7

Steward

20

Room Attendant

9

Housekeeping Assistant

18

Laundry Assistant

2

Valet

8

Messenger/Driver

6

Driver

1

2009/2010 Financial Year 

Job Title

Total

Household Manager

4

Housekeeping Manager

5

Catering Manager

4

Assistant Chef

5

Supervisor: Private and Personal

5

Supervisor: Housekeeping

4

Switchboard Operator/Receptionist

8

Kitchen Assistant

7

Steward

20

Room Attendant

9

Housekeeping Assistant

18

Laundry Assistant

2

Valet

8

Messenger/Driver

6

Driver

1

01 April 2010 to Date

Job Title

Total

Household Manager

4

Housekeeping Manager

5

Catering Manager

4

Assistant Chef

5

Supervisor: Private and Personal

6

Supervisor: Housekeeping

5

Switchboard Operator/Receptionist

10

Kitchen Assistant

7

Steward

20

Room Attendant

10

Housekeeping Assistant

19

Laundry Assistant

2

Valet

8

Messenger/Driver

6

Driver

1

 

Annexure B

Expenditure

Expenditure for Households: This is what The Presidency spent in running the Households.

Information about structural maintenance costs can be obtained from the Department of Public Works as that mandate lies with them. The amounts are exclusive of compensation of employees costs.

 

 

 

RESIDENCE

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

2008/9

2009/10

 

1. Mahlambandlopfu

R1 265.622

R1 777 052

R2 012.491

R1 648.162

R2 752.645

 

2. O.R Tambo

R493.489

R682.486

R930.474

R877.886

R1 074.481

 

3. Genedendal

R624.212

R823.663

R680.860

R923.464

R944.767

 

4. Highstead

R391.953

R563.650

R399.506

R653.746

R408.561

 

5. Kingshouse

R70.914

R210.644

R224.840

R283.871

R129.423

 

Statement issued by Athol Trollip, MP, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader, November 3 2010

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter