Taxpayers fork out more than R35 million on homes for ministers

Minister of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) Patricia De Lille says that government has spent more than R35 million on homes for ministers and deputy ministers over the last five years.

Responding in a recent parliamentary Q&A, De Lille said that the DPWI spent R11.79 million on two houses in Cape Town.

These homes both have four bedrooms and are located in the Atlantic seaboard suburb of Milnerton, she said.

De Lille said that a further R26.5 million was spent on four properties in Pretoria.

Three of these properties were purchased in the suburb of Waterkloof (east of Pretoria CBD), while a fourth property was purchased in Atholl in Johannesburg.

While the DPWI did not provide specific details on these Gauteng properties, she noted they were properties were comprised of the followIng:

  • 4 bedrooms;
  • 4 bedrooms and cottage;
  • 5 bedrooms;
  • 5 bedrooms.

De Lille said that no renovation or upgrades were carried out on these homes.

Government Homes by BusinessTech on Scribd

Ministerial handbook 

The new ministerial handbook, which was officially announced in December 2019, states that ministers and their partners will be provided with homes, but that the state will not bear any costs in respect of security upgrades done at the minister’s private residences.

Some of the other points to the handbook include:

  • On the procurement of official vehicles, the cost of the vehicles is limited to R700,000 (including VAT), maintenance plans and security extras;
  • Travel by a spouse is limited to six domestic economy trips per year;
  • Additional travel tickets for private use has been reduced from 30 to 20 tickets a year;
  • The state will not bear any costs in respect of security upgrades done at the minister’s private residences;
  • The ministerial support staff has been drastically reduced;
  • The state will limit its contribution towards water and lights at R5,000 a month for state-owned residences;
  • The continued benefits for members upon relinquishing office is one calendar month;
  • A member is allowed to occupy one state-owned resident free of charge but may rental for other properties they plan to use

Pay cut 

In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa nnounced that the deputy president, members of cabinet, and he, himself will all take a pay cut as part of a contribution to South Africa’s fight against the coronavirus.

Ramaphosa said that these members of the executive will all take a 33% pay cut over the next three months. The president said that this money will be donated to the established Solidarity Fund.

In a government gazette published at the end of February, Ramaphosa confirmed that a number of senior officials including the deputy president and ministers would not be receiving an increase this year.

The official salaries are outlined below.

Position Total remuneration
Deputy President R2 825 470
Minister R2 401 633
Deputy Minister R1 977 795

Read: Government is treating South Africans like ‘naughty children’

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Taxpayers fork out more than R35 million on homes for ministers