In a shock revelation the Democratic Alliance yesterday announced that government had spent more than R40 million on luxury vehicles for ministers and their deputies between 2014 and March this year.
To be precise, several departments spent R41 960 075.91 on the procurement of luxury cars. This information came to light after the DA submitted a range of parliamentary questions to all governmental departments.
Desiree van der Walt, the DA shadow minister of public service and administration, said it was revealing that the ANC ministers continued to spend such outrageous amounts of public money on luxury vehicles when millions of unemployed South Africans struggled to put food on the table.
She said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had been calling for austerity measures in government spending since 2013.
“It seems his colleagues are simply refusing to listen,” she said. “Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant is the biggest spender, with a luxury Porsche Cayanne GTS worth R1.3 million.
Water and Sanitation Minister Edna Molewa refused to answer our question regarding what she is driving,” Van der Walt said.
The only department who last bought new vehicles prior to 2014 is the department of economic development.
“The worst offender is the department of rural development and land reform, which splurged an astounding R5 505 351.65 on cars for Minister Gugile Nkwinti and his deputies.
“This is money that could have been better spent on supporting emerging black farmers, who are in desperate need of financial assistance from government,” Van der Walt said.
She added that, where the DA governs, “we spend public money on the people, so that opportunities are created”.
In the DA-run Tshwane, the executive mayor, Solly Msimanga, rejected 10 BMW 3-series cars bought by the previous ANC administration.
They have instead been used to form part of a new anti-hijacking unit.
Msimanga said: “No new luxury cars will be bought or leased for politicians‚ and if vehicles currently owned by Tshwane require replacement‚ sensible and low-cost vehicles will be procured.
“I will not allow public money to be spent on luxury cars while our people struggle for services‚ houses and jobs.
“No more luxury cars will be bought or leased under my government.”
The DA will continue to monitor purchases, Van der Walt said. Political analyst André Duvenhage said: “This is equal to corruption and mismanagement.”
- Some of the other top spenders include: Department of transport: R3 453 870.87;
- Department of justice: R 3275 138;
- Department of public enterprise: R2 669 377.77;
- Department of agriculture: R2502 425 and
- Postal services: R2 383 769.14