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Johannesburg - The government refutes claims that Cabinet members are misusing public funds for rental cars, the Government Communications and Information System (GCIS) said on Wednesday.
“Attempts to misrepresent expenditure by the executive in the public domain... are misleading as there are no factual grounds for these untested claims,” GCIS spokeswoman Phumla Williams said in a statement.
Williams said the use of rental vehicles was not for private purposes, but for official government business.
In August, the Independent Online reported that three members of Cabinet had spent more than R724 000 of taxpayers' money on car rentals in 18 months, despite having official vehicles.
It reported that the late communications minister Roy Padayachie spent R373 163 on rental vehicles, and that Public Service Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo spent R211 198.
She allegedly used hired vehicles 26 times from January last year to June 30 this year, clocking a total of 9852 kilometres.
The information was revealed by Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in response to questions posed by the Democratic Alliance in Parliament.
Williams said figures released in parliamentary replies were done for transparency and accountability purposes.
She said government policy allowed for the use of incidental or rented vehicles when on official duty.
“Expenditure by government goes through strict processes. Parliament annually approves the budgets of government departments, which includes all items of expenditure related to the minister's duties and work,” she said.
“This expenditure is also audited by the Auditor General annually and there.... have been no findings of irregular or wasteful expenditure related to any ministers' hiring of vehicles to carry out official duties across the country.”