Ministerial minister

Fumigation at Rhodesfield Technical High School in Kempton Park. Image: GCIS.

Government’s R93m spending spree: Lavish upgrades for ‘Ministerial Mansions’

Government splurged on maintaining ministerial homes. Expenses include R1.4m on a kitchen, R53k on curtains and R240k on fumigation.

Ministerial minister

Fumigation at Rhodesfield Technical High School in Kempton Park. Image: GCIS.

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) reportedly spent R1.4 million on a new kitchen, R240 000 on fumigation, R53 000  on curtains and R19 000 on lightbulbs. The expenditure was part of R93 million spent on maintaining the “mansions” occupied by government Ministers and Deputy Ministers over a period of two years.

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R93 Million Spent on Maintenance for Ministers

According to Leon Schreiber, the DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration (PSA), there are 97 mansions being used by Ministers and Deputy Ministers in Pretoria and Cape Town valued at approximately R1 billion.

The government has reportedly spent about R1 million on each house. Schreiber obtained the information and figures via Parliamentary questions. He said the expenses were for renovations, repairs, municipal rates, and services, including free water and electricity.

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“The DA is submitting a complaint to the Public Protector to investigate what appears to be brazen corruption and tender inflation in the maintenance of Ministerial Mansions,” said Schreiber.

The breakdown provided shows that R52 765 189,67 was spent in Cape Town, and R40 348 451,72 was splashed in Pretoria for a total of R93 113 641,39.

R1.4 Million for a New Kitchen and R240k for Fumigation

The DA believes many of the expenses bear the hallmarks of tender corruption. At a Cape Town house, a kitchen was upgraded, a floor covering was repaired, and an internal and external paint job cost a combined R 1 410 450,22.

“For an ANC cadre housed in Albert Street, Waterkloof, the State paid over R240 000 to fumigate cockroaches – charged through three different invoices. The replacement of a fallen curtain rail at a house in Johann Rissik Drive in Waterkloof Ridge cost R54 000. And the replacement of light bulbs at a ministerial mansion located in Clark Street in Waterkloof cost over R19 000,” said Schreiber.

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The opposition party also said the government had used taxpayer money on generators that keep load shedding at bay for Ministers at least 297 different times.

“These expenses also have clear marks of possible corruption, with the State routinely spending over R25 000 to “refill” a generator.”

DA Submits Complaint to Public Protector, Tables ‘Cut Cabinet Perks’ Bill

Along with the complaint to the Public Protector, the DA has also already tabled the “Cut Cabinet Perks” Bill Parliament, which seeks to add oversight and transparency to the benefits included in the Ministerial Handbook.

“These perks cost South Africans over R1 billion per year. Our country simply cannot afford to keep paying for the luxury lifestyles of Ministers who live like Rockstars, while loadshedding, unemployment and poverty are at crisis levels,” said Schreiber.

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