Ministers blew R12 million on these new cars in the last 6 months

Government spent more than R11.8 million on 13 luxury cars for ministers in the past six months. The spending is detailed in National Treasury documents circulated in reply to questions by DA MP David Maynier to parliament’s standing committee on appropriations this week, reports the Sunday Times.

In 2013 former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and the Treasury capped the price of cars for ministers at around R500,000, which was later adopted as government policy by the cabinet. However the documents show that many departments asked for a exception to the price rule – leading to a massive splurge after Gordhan’s dismissal in March 2017.

Yesterday, finance ministry spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said there was no cap on the cost of new ministerial cars because none had been passed by the current cabinet.

“I can’t find a trace of such a policy in existing resolutions. A policy is now being processed,” he said

Below are the cars that make up the R12 million expense, and who is driving them.

Department of Public Works 

The reason given for the purchase was that the vehicles replaced two BMWs that were seven and 10 years old and had more than 120 000km on the clock — the mileage prescribed by the ministerial handbook.

  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d for use by Minister Nathi Nhleko –  R1.23 million
  • Toyota Land Cruiser 200 for use by Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin – R1.26 million

Department of Small Business Development

The department said the previous ministerial car was due for replacement and November, new to the post, was entitled to two new cars.

  • Mercedes-Benz E400 for use by Minister Lindiwe Zulu – R1.1 million
  • Lexus GS 350 for use by deputy minister Nomathemba November – R900 000
  • BMW 5 Series for use by deputy minister Nomathemba November – R1 million

Department of Public service and Administration

Previous vehicle damaged in an accident.

  • Lexus RX 350 EX for use by minister Faith Muthambi – R813,886

Department of Transport

  • Toyota Fortuner for use by minister Joe Maswanganyi – R557,927
  • Mercedes-Benz E350d for use by minister Joe Maswanganyi – R984,000
  • BMW X5 for use by deputy minister Sindi Chikunga – R984 000
  • Jaguar XJ3 for use by deputy minister Sindi Chikunga – R800,000

Department of Science and Technology

  • Audi Q7 for use by deputy minister Zanele Magwaza-Msibi – R1 million

Department of Communications 

  • Jaguar XF 2.0d RSport for use by deputy minister Tandi Mahambehlala – R748,941
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC 250 for use by deputy minister Tandi Mahambehlala – R755,888

Read: What you need to know about car thieves in South Africa

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Ministers blew R12 million on these new cars in the last 6 months