The Democratic Alliance has called for a review of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s current ministerial cabinet – saying that it is currently ‘bloated’ and ‘opulent’.
In a statement released on Sunday (20 May), the DA said that South Africa’s sluggish economy and growing budget deficit requires restraint in government spending.
“South Africans are currently bearing the full cost of a (VAT increase to 15%), but the government’s profligacy still goes unchecked,” it said.
It added that the current cabinet remains one of the largest in the world, with 35 ministers – “far bigger than the United States at 15 ministers, Kenya with 18 ministers and the United Kingdom with 21 ministers.”
“This year alone, our 35 ministers and 37 deputy ministers will earn R163.5 million and over R510.5 million over the medium-term,” it said.
According to the DA, this is how the current cabinet compares under each president post-1994:
|President||Size of cabinet|
|Jacob Zuma/Cyril Ramaphosa||73|
Cars and houses
In addition to salaries, the DA said that the current cabinet had overspent on housing and vehicles.
“The Department of Public Works has a specific division called the ‘Prestige Portfolio’ that manages the accommodation for the Presidency, ministers, deputy ministers and other VIPs,” it said.
“The Department spent over R188 million on acquiring just 33 properties in Pretoria and Cape Town at a staggering average of R5.7 million per residence.
“It was revealed last year that an additional R48 million will be spent on acquiring six additional residences at an average of R8 million per residence in the 2017/18 financial year.”
The party also called for a clamp down on vehicle spending which it said was promoted by the current ministerial handbook.
“If the National Handbook provisions are considered with the current bloated Cabinet in mind and accepting that two official vehicles are allowed (in Cape Town and Pretoria), ministers and deputy ministers are permitted to spend as much as R3.5 million and R2.9 million, respectively.
“Thus, the National Handbook provisions allow for a total spend of R229 million on luxury cars,” it said.