R730 Million To Be Spent On Renovating Minister’s Homes: The Hypocrisy Of It All!

By Joburg Post

The Sunday Times reported that more than R730 million has been set aside for a number of upgrades, at a time when the country’s tax-collection revenue is on the decline, and is in sharp contrast to the cost-cutting measures that the government has previously pledged to introduce.

Citing a written reply to parliament by public works minister, Thulas Nxesi, the paper reported that the money has been allocated for the Union Buildings, houses for MPs and ministers, and their offices within the parliamentary precinct.

President Cyril Ramaphosa & Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

The budget includes the following items:

  • R5.7 million for new carpets for the Union Buildings in Pretoria;
  • R1 million for bathroom and kitchen upgrades to a ministerial house in Rondebosch;
  • R29 million for a new guardhouse, along with electric fence and security cameras worth R4.3 million;
  • R2.9 million has been set aside to ‘investigate provision of additional standby/emergency power supply to the parliamentary precinct’ – to spare MPs the annoyance of load-shedding;
  • R29 million on gates and a doghouse.
While it is always expected that security costs on government officials homes is expected, it is hard to imagine how R5.7 million on new carpets and R1 million on bathroom and kitchen upgrades can be justified in a time where the government must save every Rand it can, in order to cut the budget deficit but also ensure that priority government services are not compromised. 

Government has continued to ask South Africans to cut down on wasteful expenditure as we ride the current economic storm but its failure from the top to do that speaks values about its commitment to lead from the front! The fish rots from the head and the past 10 years have proven that true, as we watched government spending break rank with South Africa's economic challenges. Nkandlagate, the looting of SOEs and salary increases and new state vehicles for ministers were the order of the day and once again the hypocrisy of the government has exposed itself and puts further doubt in my mind about the so-called "new dawn"! 

Perhaps the new dawn is true but rather than it being the dawn of change, it simply is a new dawn of players who will commit the same crimes to our fiscus as the previous administration. Time will tell! 


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