"It is revealing that these ANC ministers continue to spend such outrageous amounts of public money on luxury vehicles when millions of unemployed South Africans struggle to put food on the table," DA spokeswoman Desiree van der Walt said.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had been calling for austerity measures in government spending since 2013. It seemed that his colleagues were simply refusing to listen, she said.
The worst offender was the rural development and land reform department, which splurged R5 505 351 on cars for minister Gugile Nkwinti and his deputies.
"This is money that could have been better spent on supporting emerging black farmers who are in desperate need for financial assistance from the government."
Other top spenders included the transport department (R3 453 870), the justice department (R3 275 138), the public enterprises department (R2 669 377), the agriculture department (2 502 425), and the telecommunications department (R2 383 769), Van der Walt said.
"Where the DA governs, we spend public money on the people so that opportunities are created. In the DA-run Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga rejected 10 BMW 3 series [cars], which were bought by the previous ANC administration. They have now been used to form part of a new anti hijack unit."
Van der Walt said that at the time Msimaga had stated: “No new luxury cars will be bought or leased for politicians and if vehicles currently owned by Tshwane require replacement‚ sensible and low-cost vehicles will be procured. I will not allow public money to be spent on luxury cars‚ while our people struggle for services‚ houses and jobs. No more luxury cars will be bought or leased under my government.”
The DA would continue to monitor the purchases of vehicles by the executive, and where possible, do whatever it could to reprioritise the spending so that the poor benefited – not the ANC-connected elite, Van der Walt said.