President Jacob Zuma is set to get a new R1.3 billion private jet on top of the current presidential plane, Inkwazi, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
The Sunday paper said that discussions are underway to purchase a jet which can seat 18 people for shorter trips in Africa, while Inkwazi will be used for international flights.
A document seen by the Sunday Times stated that “it is essential” a regional aircraft is acquired. Negotiations around the deal are subject to confidentiality agreements, stated the report.
A source with knowledge of the latest bid told the Sunday Times that the new jet has been kept secret because a deal was being tailored for a specific supplier.
Earlier plans to buy president Zuma a new jet were scrapped in October last year, thanks to tighter budget measures from the National Treasury.
However, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has insisted that the government will buy a new VVIP jet for the presidency.
It was reported that South African taxpayers were made to fork out R2 million a month for the president to hire a private jet after Inkwazi suffered a number of technical issues last year.