This is the average value of a house for South Africa’s millionaire ministers

 ·7 Mar 2023

Luxury homes lived in by cabinet ministers and deputy ministers in South Africa are valued at around R967 million in 2023 – with some houses, on average, boasting a price tag of around R23.4 million each.

Responding to a written parliamentary Q&A, the department of public works and infrastructure revealed the total value of ministerial homes across the country.

The response came to questions posed by the Democratic Alliance (DA), which asked the department for the total number of state-owned residences currently occupied by ministers and deputy ministers throughout the Republic and the total estimated value of all state-owned official homes.

The department noted that there are currently 97 state-owned homes for ministers and deputy ministers in South Africa valued at a combined R967 million – meaning, on average, each ministerial home is valued at nearly R10 million.

These properties are situated in South Africa’s capitals, Cape Town and Pretoria, where ministers and deputy ministers do their work.

The department added that there are 58 homes in Cape Town worth nearly R830 million, while those in Pretoria – the remaining 39 homes – are valued at R137 million.

Of the 58 homes in Cape Town, 26 are occupied by cabinet ministers, valued at R608 million – working out to an average value of R23.4 million per home.

This is a massive jump compared to the average property values in Pretoria, where the average state-owned residence is valued at R3.9 million for ministers and R3.3 million for deputy ministers.

The tables below show the complete breakdown of state-owned residences currently occupied by ministers and deputy ministers in Cape Town and Pretoria.

Cape Town 

Position Number of homes Total value (R) Average value per home (R)
Minister 26 R608 165 300 R23 390 973
Deputy Minister 32 R221 708 000 R6 928 375

Pretoria 

Position Number of homes Total value (R) Average value per home (R)
Minister 14 R54 788 283 R3 913 448
Deputy Minister 25 R82 167 424 R3 286 696

These homes are afforded to ministers in accordance with the ministerial Handbook – a  guide to the ‘benefits and privileges that members of the cabinet are entitled to.

According to the Handbook, members are entitled to four luxury vehicles each (two per province), VIP protection, and international travel.

They also receive free water and electricity (up to R5,000 a month) and generators for ministerial homes, which former public works minister Patricia De Lille has noted cost the government R2.6 million at the end of 2022.

These perks are over and above the salaries ministers and deputy ministers draw, which is between R2 million and R2.4 million annually.

“While it is accepted global practice for top government leaders such as the President, Deputy President and Premiers to occupy official residences – which are often located in heritage buildings or estates open to the public – De Lille is clearly unable to justify why every ANC Minister and Deputy Minister who presided over the collapse of every public service and government department in this country should continue to live like rockstars,” said DA minister of public works and infrastructure Leon Schreiber.

The opposition party added that this is compounded by the apparent fact that the Ministerial Handbook is itself illegal, as no provision in the law provides for a handbook that doles out close to R1 billion for houses to cabinet ministers.

The DA has also proposed an amendment to the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act that would make the Ministerial Handbook subject to complete Parliamentary oversight.

De Lille was shuffled out of the department of public works on Monday evening (6 March) when president Cyril Ramphosa announced changes to his executive. De Lille will move to the Department of Tourism, replacing ousted minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

The new minister of public works is Sihle Zikalala.


Read: These are the luxury cars ministers are driving in South Africa – and how much they cost

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