The cars driven by South Africa’s ministers and and their deputies have again been called into question at a time when the country is under enormous economic pressure.
Opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has historically targeted ANC politicians for wasteful expenditure, particularly in the vehicles they drive when compared to their own modest modes of transport.
According to a 2017 report by the party, the government spent R42 million on luxury vehicles for ministers and their deputies between 2014 and 2017.
Fast forward to 2019, and the DA has again brought the flash cars driven by the country’s public servants into the spotlight, one month before the National Elections, thanks to a series of questions sent to various departments.
The amount that ministers spend on cars is informed by the ministerial handbook – a classified guide to the ‘benefits and privileges’ that members of the cabinet are entitled to.
An Africa Check report showed that members of cabinet get 25% of their salary towards a private vehicle, its running and maintenance, and comprehensive insurance.
However, it is often the case that ministers spend more than this according to the DA, who stated that under the handbook ministers and deputy ministers are permitted to spend as much as R3.5 million and R2.9 million respectively.
Changes on the way
Former communications minister, Faith Muthambi, was infamously quoted as saying that ANC ministers and their deputies select expensive vehicles because they are required to travel far distances, in far-flung rural and urban areas of the country.
“The ANC is the party of liberation and continues to receive accolades for its efforts in ameliorating the material condition of the poor majority who are in the black and African,” Muthambi said.
The government recently stated that it will revise the ministerial handbook to curb wasteful expenditure, however, this rhetoric is not new under the ruling party.
Public service & administration minister, Ayanda Dlodlo, said that cabinet ministers and their deputies will no longer be allowed to splurge on luxury cars such as Porsches and Mercedes-Benz S-class’ with National Treasury now in charge of buying vehicles for all ministers, their deputies, MECs and provincial premiers.
Below BusinessTech looked at the available 2019 vehicle information to see which cars South African ministers and deputy minister are driving. The data includes all cars purchased from April 2016.
- Toyota Fortuner purchased 19 May 2016 – R623,788.94
- Toyota Fortuner purchased 19 May 2016 – R625,718.94
- Toyota Fortuner purchased in April 2017 – R557,927
- Mercedes Benz E350D AMG purchased in July 2017 – R924,146
- Jaguar XJ 3.0 purchased in April 2017 – R800,000
- BMW X5 purchased in April 2017 – R984, 896
- BMW 740i purchased 25 September 2016 – R1,302,525
- Jeep Grand Cherokee purchased 29 July 2016 – R1,161,687
- BMW 740i purchased 28 April 2018 – R1,308,861
- BMW 541i purchased 11 August 2018 – R778,508
- Mercedes Benz (unspecified) purchased 13 November 2013 – R958,101
- Mercedes Benz (unspecified) purchased 13 November 2013 – R951,600
- Mercedes Benz (unspecified) purchased 19 February 2015 – R878,701
- Audi Q7 TDI purchased 17 January 2015 – R762,443