The South African ministry of police will spend R1.93 billion on VIP protection services for members of Cabinet, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has revealed.
The minister noted the amounts in a written reply to a Parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance.
According to Nhkleko, a total of R125.1 million is spent on VIP protection for the president, alone, including VIP protection for his wives and his immediate family members.
South Africa has 75 Cabinet members, including ministers and deputies – which equates to an average VIP protection spend of R25.7 million per Cabinet minister.
The totals include “compensation and relevant indirect costs” related to VIP security.
Nhleko is seeking a VIP protection budget of R2.61 billion for the 2016/17 financial year, which is 3.2% of the total SAPS budget of R80.9 billion.
According to a report by BDLive, between 2013 and 2016, R9 million that was budgeted to the South African police department was spent buying luxury cars for president Jacob Zuma’s wives.
He said the purchases were necessary for the VIP protection of the president’s spouses.
The minister said the department spent the money buying three Range Rover SUVs, two Land Rover Discovery SUVs and five Audi SUVs and sedans.
Luxury car purchases for government officials have been a continued point of contention in the country – especially when weighed against the finance department’s bid to cut unnecessary spending.
In 2014, it was reported that the government forked over R100 million for 140 luxury cars for members of Cabinet.