Ministers' housing to cost nearly R6bn

2012-03-12 07:23
Johannesburg - New housing and offices for ministers, their deputies and members of Parliament will cost nearly R6bn, it was reported on Monday.

The Star newspaper reported that last year's budget documents put the total cost of the Prestige Portfolio programme around R4bn.

This year's Budget documents said the rise to R5.74bn was related to housing for ministers and their deputies, particularly with regards to "Parliamentary villages" in Cape Town and Pretoria.

The department of public works had reportedly ignored attempts by the newspaper to explain the rise in spending. The portfolio currently falls under the department's budget allocation.

The Budget documents state that the main reason for the cost increase was Cabinet's expansion in 2009.

In two years from 2007/08 to 2009/10 - when the planning for the expanded Cabinet came into effect - the prestige budget doubled.

The breakdown of spending over the past seven years of the programme was listed in each year's budget, but did not include the full cost of the programme. The amount for only those years were listed.

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