Taxpayers will pay R700,000 to build a braai area for a cabinet minister, according to a report by the Sunday Times.
This is just one expense that forms part of a new R48 million Public Works project that focuses on the purchasing and renovating of six ministers homes. the paper said.
The project reportedly flew under the radar after being presented at the portfolio committee this week, meaning MPs did not discuss the high costs.
However, a number of public works employees indicated that the expenses were even more exorbitant than usual, and that the braai alone could have built 11 two-bedroom RDP homes.
Bassie Kgasoane, the chief director of prestige property at public works, said his department spent R675,911 on the braai.
“Plans differ from house to house but then you find . . . you want to standardise facilities like your swimming pools,” he said.
“These guys are full of demands. We once had to hire space somewhere because one minister’s clothes could not fit into his wardrobe when he moved in,” another public works employee said.
The documents also showed that public works has forked out more than R109 million renovating the Rygersdal apartment complex in Rondebosch in the southern suburbs of Cape Town where government officials live. The renovations included a new guardhouse, replacement of two lifts, a generator and electrical reticulation.
Since the Zuma administration took over in 2009, at least 35 houses have been procured between July 2009 and early 2011 at a cost of around R193 million, the paper said.
This sum excludes the cost of upgrades, furnishings and security.
You can read the full story in today’s edition of the Sunday Times.