Minister Bathabile Dlamini Photo: Etienne Creux
Cape Town – The department of social development spent over R2 million to acquire luxury vehicles for its minister Bathabile Dlamini and her deputy Henrietta Zulu over R2 million on official vehicles, it emerged on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, Dlamini revealed that the vehicles – a BMW and a Jeep Grand Cherokee – were bought last year.

Dlamini’s BMW was worth R1.3 million while Zulu’s Jeep Grand Cherokee cost around R1.1 million.

The minister qualified the purchase by stating that the last time she and her deputy bought vehicles for their official duties was in 2009 after being appointed to their respective positions, and that the prescribed maximum mileage of 120,000 kilometres on these cars had already been exceeded.

According to the ministerial handbook, ministers are entitled to the price of a vehicle for a member of the executive should not exceed 70 percent of the inclusive annual remuneration of a minister. But, ministers have over the past few years been criticised for being splurging on luxury vehicles at a time when departments should be engaging in cost cutting measures to ease pressure on the fiscus.