All the free perks for ministers in the updated ministerial handbook

The South African government has published its revised guide for members of the executive, effectively replacing the controversial ministerial handbook introduced in 2007.

In a circular sent to members of government, minister of public service and administration Senzo Mchunu said that the new rules will be effective from 8 June 2019.

“Members of the executive and the staff supporting such members are urged to acquaint themselves with the provisions thereof and ensure that fiscal prudence is taken into account when applying the provisions thereof,” he said.

The new guide covers everything from relocation expenses to cars, with most of the new perks appearing to be largely the same or slightly reined in from the previous ministerial handbook.

This guide also describes the new powers given to finance minister Tito Mboweni to directly curb spending on transport and other luxuries.

However, ministers can also expect some increased benefits such as more staff members and an increased limit on home security.

Below are some of the biggest and most notable perks and changes.

Cars 

  • The South African Police Service (SAPS) shall provide the member with VIP Drivers and protectors for official purposes and in the interest of security;
  • National Members shall be provided with one vehicle for official use in each seat of office. Provincial Members shall be provided with one vehicle for official use;
  • The cost of this vehicle  – including any security upgrades – will be determined by the minister of finance;
  • In the event that an official vehicle is not procured for a member, they may be reimbursed for using their own private vehicle;
  • Departments may only replace a motor vehicle purchased for a member if the vehicle has reached 120,000 km or 5 years, or if the car experiences serious mechanical problems and is in a poor condition;
  • Spouses and other dependent family members may be transported in the member’s official vehicle.

Travel 

  • Members and their spouses (or an adult family member accompanying the Member in an official capacity) are entitled to travel for official purposes at the expense of the relevant department;
  • This trip must be business class travel using the cheapest of three (3) quotations for the most cost-effective and convenient route;
  • Members and their spouses may use VIP facilities at the relevant airports on domestic travel at the cost of the relevant department;
  • No daily subsistence and travel allowance is payable to a member, their spouse, or minor children for domestic travel;
  • National Members and their spouses are also jointly entitled to 30 (thirty) single domestic business class flight tickets per annum;
  • Ministers and Deputy Ministers may only travel on official visits abroad if these are essential, in the national interest and with due regard to the availability of funds;

Homes

  • Members may occupy a state-owned residence in the seat of office free of charge;
  • The state will contribute up to R250,000 in security upgrades, with this amount to be revised annually;
  • The ministry of departmental works will be responsible for paying for water and lights as well as employing a domestic worker for these homes;
  • Rentals for phones (as well as the costs of official calls), the installation and maintenance of fax, internet/wifi and DSTV facilities will be paid for by the department.

Read the full document here.


Read: Here’s how much Ramaphosa’s new cabinet will earn – and the perks they get

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All the free perks for ministers in the updated ministerial handbook