Pretoria - The DA has revealed that public funded mansions occupied by ministers and their deputies in Cape Town and Pretoria were collectively worth over R967 million.
This was revealed during a parliamentary question submitted by DA MP Leon Schreiber, who is the party spokesperson on public service and administration, to Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille.
In her reply to the Schreiber’s request for information, De Lille said that no less than 97 mansions are currently occupied by ministers and their deputies in Cape Town and Pretoria.
In Cape Town, 26 ministers and 32 deputies live in state-owned residences; in Pretoria, 14 ministers and 25 deputies currently occupy these mansions.
“The homes in Cape Town are currently worth nearly R830m, while the homes in Pretoria are valued at R137m.
“On average, each ministerial house is valued at nearly R10m. This means that every ANC minister and deputy minister currently lives in two mansions (one in Cape Town and one in Pretoria) valued at a collective R20m – all courtesy of South African taxpayers,” Schreiber said.
The DA added that they also receive free water and electricity estimated to cost about R5 000 per month and R2.6m was spent on generators to shield the ministers from load shedding.
Schreiber acknowledged that its a global practice for top government leaders such as the president, deputy president and premiers to occupy official residences, but the party said it was difficult to justify why ANC top officials who allegedly presided over the collapse of every government department should continue to live like “rock stars”.
“This is compounded by the apparent fact that the ministerial handbook is itself illegal, as there is no provision in law that provides for the existence of a handbook that doles out almost R1 billion in houses to Cabinet cadres.
“That is why the DA has filed a complaint with the public protector to investigate whether the perks handed out to cadres in terms of the handbook are indeed illegal.
“To stop this abuse of taxpayers, the DA has also already published the party’s intention to introduce an amendment to the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act that would make the ministerial handbook subject to full parliamentary oversight,” said Schreiber.
The party said it will not rest until it has eradicated the practice of abusing taxpayers with impunity to finance perks for an ANC Cabinet.