Secrecy over Cabinet housing

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IOL  ND Thulas Nxesi

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi

Parliament - Details of the official houses occupied by Cabinet members cannot be revealed, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Monday.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, he said giving out the address, size and area of such housing might compromise the security of President Jacob Zuma's 35 ministers.

“The department of public works is unable to provide names of Cabinet members, their addresses, descriptions of rooms, floor area, and the location of such property.

“It is the department's considered view that revealing such information will compromise the security of the Cabinet members concerned,” Nxesi said.

The parliamentary question, posed by the DA, also sought details on the cost of any planned renovations or repairs to ministers' official houses during the current (2014/15) financial year.

Later on Monday, the Democratic Alliance said Nxesi's reply was nothing more than an excuse to limit proper oversight by MPs.

“Indeed, it is the same excuse the minister repeatedly used to prevent the DA from gaining the details of the nearly R250 million expenditure on President Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla,” DA MP Kenneth Mubu said in a statement.

The DA would resubmit the question, and, should Nxesi again refuse to answer, the party would submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to get the relevant documents.

Sapa


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