Why does the budget include R10 million for new luxury cars for ministers?

The Democratic Alliance has revealed hundreds of millions of rands of wasteful expenditure buried in Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) released this week, including a R10.07 million allocated for new ministerial vehicles.

“It is not necessary to spend R10.07 million on new ministerial vehicles when with proper maintenance existing vehicles would probably last over the medium term,” said DA shadow minister of finance, David Maynier.

Maynier said that while the minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, claims that government is committed to reducing waste, careful scrutiny of the 2016/17 Adjusted Estimates of Expenditure reveals ‘shocking levels’ of wasteful expenditure of more than R1.18 billion

The DA noted that the 2016/17 adjusted budget provides for vehicles for the following:

  • A new ministerial vehicle for the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, at the cost of approximately R1.72 million;
  • Two new ministerial vehicles for the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, at the cost of approximately R3.0 million;
  • A new ministerial vehicle for the Deputy-Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Buti Manamela, at the cost of approximately R1.97 million; and
  • Several new ministerial vehicles for the Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Public Service and Administration at the cost of approximately R3.38 million.

The  political party also questioned additional allocation on the following:

  • R950 million on “foreign missions” for the international relations and cooperation department;
  • R95.97 million on “leasing transport aircraft” for the defence department;
  • R47.28 million on “guarding services” for the defence department;
  • R32.03 million for “cell phones and data contracts” for the labour department;
  • R18.5 million for “ministerial travel and outreach” at the social development department;
  • R11 million for “VIP protection services” at the police department;
  • R2.1 million for “legal fees” at the presidency;
  • R1 million for “office equipment for the minister” at the labour department;
  • R600 000 for the “replacement of office furniture” for the labour department’s attaché in Geneva;
  • R1 000 for a “traffic fine” at the public enterprises department.

“We will strongly oppose the more than R1.18 billion of wasteful expenditure we have identified by proposing amendments to the 2016/17 adjusted budget in Parliament,” Maynier said.

The full list of identified expenditure is listed below:

Department Reasoning Amount
International Relations and Cooperation Unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure: Increase due to exchange rate fluctuation and resulting costs of foreign missions R950 000 000
Defence and Military Veterans Reprioritisation form the Special Defence Account to Lease of Transport aircraft R95 973 000
Defence and Military Veterans Guard services rendered to the defence works formation R44 306 000
Labour Finance lease for cell phones and data contracts R32 028 000
Social Development Travel and communication for ministerial outreach programme R18 500 000
Police VIP protection Services R11 000 000
Labour Ministerial and senior management travel to ILO and G20 meetings R9 100 000
Justice and Constitutional Development Offsetting Payment for financial assets for theft and losses R4 641 000
National Treasury New Africa Regional Centre office based in Johannesburg R3 032 000
Arts and Culture Vehicles for the minister in Pretoria and Cape Town R3 000 000
Defence and Military Veterans Guard services rendered to the defence headquarters R2 970 000
National Treasury Redesigning of the department’s website and intranet in line with guidelines of the GCIS R2 907 000
Public Service and Administration Procurement of vehicles for the ministry R2 166 000
Presidency Unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure: An additional R2.1 million has been allocated for legal fees and related costs R2 100 000
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Purchase of official vehicle for the deputy minister & Furniture and office equipment for the new building R1 970 000
Trade and industry Vehicle for the minister and replacement of ageing computer equipment. R1 720 000
Communications Motor vehicle for the Ministry & desktop printers R1 216 000
Labour Office Equipment for the Minister’s office R1 000 000
COGTA International conference hosted by the Municipal Demarcation Board R1 000 000
Labour Resettlement costs for the newly appointed Department’s Labour Attache and Legal Fees R711 000
Labour Replacement of office furniture for the Department’s Labour Attache in Geneva R600 000
Public Enterprises Traffic Fine R1 000
TOTAL R1 189 941 000

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Why does the budget include R10 million for new luxury cars for ministers?