New Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda has treated himself to a pair of German luxury cars, one to use in Pretoria and the other in Cape Town.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question, posed by the Democratic Alliance, he said the new vehicles - both 2009 BMW 750i models - cost R1 135 500 each.
His reply also reveals the cars are fitted with R148,400 worth of extras, including, in the Pretoria-based vehicle, a R23 400 "rear-seat entertainment" system and a R5 600 "high-gloss satin chrome" paint job.
Nyanda said the existing official vehicles available for him had either done more than 120 000km, or were more than five years old, and in terms of the Cabinet-approved Ministerial Handbook he was entitled to new ones.
"The vehicle for use in Cape Town was nine years old, and had reached 115 072km. The vehicle for use in Pretoria was four years old, and had reached 137 194km," he said.
His new Pretoria vehicle has an array of extra features.
These include a R35 800 "innovation's package inclusive of... rear view camera, ceramic surround for controls, ambient interior lighting, adaptive headlights, high beam assist, lane departure warning lane change warning".
Its Cape Town twin is fitted with a three-spoke leather steering wheel. It too has a rear-view camera.
In a statement on Thursday, DA communications spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko described the purchase of the vehicles as "frivolous and a massive waste of public money".
Her party would be submitting follow-up questions on the matter.
"During this time of economic crisis when hundreds of thousands of ordinary South Africans are losing their jobs and businesses across the country are shutting down, government should be setting the tone for austerity and sound financial management," she said. - Sapa