Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille. File Photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

PARLIAMENT - Ministers and deputy ministers can forget about buying new furniture for their offices and official homes, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said on Wednesday.

Delivering her department's budget vote in Parliament, De Lille said she had issued a notice to all members of the executive to curb spending in the interim while new formal austerity guidelines are being developed.

"There will be no procurement of new furniture, the department will repair, upholster and maintain the existing furniture," De Lille told MPs.

"All adhoc or emergency refurbishment of offices and residences which are not in the planned maintenance plan will not be allowed, except under exceptional circumstances that are approved by the Executive Authority."

The minister said ministers and their deputies would also be required to manage their water and power use as the department was dealing with high consumption bills issued by the City of Tswane and the City of Cape Town. The department's property section was currently engaging with the latter, said De Lille, on "overbilling amounting to R20 million".

De Lille is the former City of Cape Town mayor. She resigned last year after she fell out with the Democratic Alliance who are in control of the metro.

African News Agency (ANA)