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According to a new report by IOL, it seems the ministers in government — effectively the cogs of administration of South Africa — are spending millions upon millions on official cars for themselves and their deputies.
While ministers are permitted to purchase and replace vehicles for use by ministers and their departmental staff, with the limit on expenditure set to 70% maximum of a minister’s “inclusive annual numeration package”, the report suggests, referencing the Ministrial Handbook.
That said, we can only imagine what some of these politicians are earning, considering some of the vehicles purchased.
Interestingly, German cars are among South Africa’s ministers’ favourite.
BMWs proved popular among the minister of social development and minister of basic education. The former, Susan Shabangu, is driving around in a BMW 740i. Her social development deputy is cantering around in a cheaper but similarly ridiculous BMW 541i. Combined, the vehicles are worth over R2-million.
The latter, Angie Motshekga, seemingly wants her deputy minister of education Enver Surty to cart around in style in our northern and southern capital cities. She reportedly bought an R830 000 BMW 5-Series for Pretoria, while a R1m Audi Q7 serves trips in the Mother City.
A R900 000 Audi A8 was “inherited” by energy minister Jeff Radebe, while science and tech minister Mmamoloko Kubayi bought her deputy minister an Audi Q7 for R960 000.
A Mercedes-Benz GLE was coped by correctional services minister Michael Masutha for R970 000, while another Mercedes GLE was inherited for R1.2-million by public works minister Thulas Nxesi.
Toyota Land Cruisers, bar one Lexus, were the only Japanese cars to make the list. Higher education minister Naledi Pandor dropped R850 000 on a Prado. Nxesi also noted that his department inherited another Land Cruser in 2017 from former minister.
Honestly, we’re barely scratching the surface of this list, which could have easily been drafted by Memphis Raines if this was indeed the year 2000. (Please Google “Gone In Sixty Seconds” if you were born after the year 2000. Thanks.)
This isn’t a new phenomenon either. In 2017, a report by the DA suggested that more than R40-million was spent on providing wheels for the country’s plethora of ministers between 2014 and 2017.
A waste of tax payers cash is an argument many are posing, but hey, at least our government’s ministers have pretty good taste in cars.
Feature image: Mercedes-Benz GLE, by Mercedes