Since 2019, South Africans, more and more of whom are being plunged into poverty, have shelled out millions of rands to protect the country’s ministers and their deputies from the inconvenience of load shedding.
The DA says pres. During this time, Cyril Ramaphosa’s government paid more than R58 million to provide free electricity and water to ministers’ and deputy ministers’ 97 homes and to carry out security upgrades there.
More than R7 million was also spent on “alternative power supply” to keep the lights on at the country’s leading dignitaries.
“While South Africans are reeling under the devastation of the load-shedding crisis caused by the ANC cabinet, the same ministers and deputy ministers are abusing South Africans’ hard-earned tax money to hedge against the consequences of decades of corruption and mismanagement,” says Dr. Leon Schreiber, the DA’s spokesperson on public service and administration.
He says that while ordinary South Africans endure great suffering, the “rock star ministers” hang out by the swimming pools of their luxurious mansions where they enjoy uninterrupted power and free water and are protected by an impenetrable security wall.
“This is all financed by a country where more than 30 million people live in absolute poverty and are faced with violent crime every day.”
The figures are based on parliamentary questions that the DA asked as part of its campaign against the many benefits provided for in the ministerial handbook. Among other things, the DA asked questions about the water and power bills for each official residence, how much tax money was spent on the installation of, for example, generators, converters or solar power systems, and what was raised to sink boreholes or install water purification systems at official residences.
“The latest information confirms anew how the ANC abuses the ministerial handbook to spit in South Africans’ faces,” says Schreiber.
Last week, members of the party marched to the Bryntirion estate in Pretoria, where many ministerial residences are located, to protest against the “ANC elite’s drinking of champagne at the taxpayers’ expense”.
The DA also revealed after previous parliamentary questions that the government spends around R387 million per year on the salaries of these ministers and their deputies’ support staff spend.
The party argues that there is no legislation that provides for the existence of the ministerial handbook – and the generous benefits it provides for cabinet members.
The party is now also collecting information about “other abuses” that are made possible thanks to the handbook, says Schreiber.
“We pledge to provide full transparency to South Africans about the extent of how they are being abused by the textbook, and continue to lead the fight to end the waste and corruption that has brought the country to its knees.”
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