Confusion over price limit put on ministers' wheels
Treasury’s acting accountant-general Karen Maree last month announced that the price threshold for the procurement of official vehicles for members of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s executive were revised from R700 000 to R800 000 inclusive of VAT and security features.
The instruction, which came into effect on November 18, means that all official vehicles purchased by national and provincial government departments should be purchased in line with the guidelines for members of the executive.
The instruction also prohibits members of the executive and heads of their departments from buying cars higher than the set price limit.
”Members of the executive are further prohibited from making an additional personal financial contribution to purchase a higher-priced vehicle or utilising a negotiated trade-in value to purchase a vehicle of a higher price while technically not exceeding the set price limit,” the document says.
The Finance Ministry has also warned that the value of the ministerial vehicle being purchased should not exceed the set price limit.
“Members of the executive are advised that the determined price threshold is aimed at addressing, among others, the perceived opulent lifestyle members enjoy,” it said.
Heads of department will also be required to record the details of the cost of the acquisition of their political principals’ official vehicles in annual reports for each financial year.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will review annually the threshold determined for the price of official vehicles in consultation with his police counterpart Bheki Cele and Ministers of Transport and State Security, Fikile Mbalula and Ayanda Dlodlo, respectively.
Maree’s statements, however, appeared to contradict an earlier instruction on October 25 shortly after Mboweni’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement which put the limit at R700000.
The instruction also listed new vehicle categories and prices.
In terms of the list, there were six categories of vehicle ranging from Volkswagen Tiguan priced between R586 000 and R613 000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, including models such as C180 AMG, C200 Avantgarde and C220d, which retail for between R667 000 and R680 000.
Other models in the earlier instruction included the Toyota Fortuner 4GD and 8GD, Audi A4 35 and 40 TFSI as well as 40TDi, Hyundai Tucson Premium, Executive and Elite and Ford Everest 2.2 and 3.2 TDCi, which are priced between R425 900 and R626 300.
Mboweni’s and Mchunu’s spokespeople, Mashudu Masutha-Rammutle and Vukani Mbhele, on Tuesday could not explain which limit was now applicable, R700000 or R800000.