News24

Ministers spend 'recklessly' on car hire

2011-07-04 14:13

Cape Town - Cabinet ministers' car hire bills are a "reckless" use of state funds, Democratic Alliance MP Ian Ollis said on Monday.

"Earlier this parliamentary term, I submitted a question to each member of the executive to determine how much had been spent on car hire for each minister and deputy minister since March 2010," he said.

The replies received so far indicated that most ministries had spent significant amounts to hire luxury vehicles to transport ministers and deputy ministers.

"Although a certain level of expenditure on car hire is quite acceptable, the DA regards the trend that has emerged from the information contained in these replies to be of deep concern.

"For a member of the executive to spend hundreds of thousands of rands worth of state funds on car hire raises serious questions about the degree of financial prudence being exercised by the [President Jacob] Zuma Cabinet," Ollis said.

Reckless spending

The MP said it was also disappointing to note that some ministers had failed to supply the information requested, with the minister of labour simply ignoring important sections of the parliamentary question.

The four ministries that had supplied the information requested - public works, arts and culture, mineral resources, and trade and industry - had spent R865 211 on car hire since March 2010, with public works alone spending R436 911.

"These are significant numbers and illustrate reckless use of state resources," he said.
Hiring a C180 class Mercedes-Benz cost between R700 and R900 a day.

"Racking up a car hire bill in excess of R200 000 therefore suggests that the relevant Cabinet members are hiring cars on at least a weekly basis, and that luxury cars are being hired at exorbitant rates."

The arts and culture ministry spent R118 083, mineral resources R251 034, and trade and industry R59 183.

The labour ministry rented cars on 12 occasions, but failed to indicate the total cost, and the economic development ministry failed to answer the question.

Ministerial handbook

Ollis said that in the DA-run Western Cape, the ministerial handbook had been rewritten to curb excessive spending on items such as car hire and the purchase of luxury cars.

This stood in stark contrast to the reluctance with which the updating of the national ministerial handbook had been managed, he claimed.

"Despite assertions by Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi that amendments to the national handbook would be made public before the [Soccer] World Cup, the Zuma government continues to stall on the release of the changes."

Ollis said he would submit follow-up questions to each minister to request additional details concerning their and their deputy's car hire spending, such as why greater use was not made of vehicles from the government fleet.

In addition, he would write to Zuma to ask for an explanation for the delay in releasing the amendments to the ministerial handbook, and to determine when these amendments would be made public.

Comments
  • Smaal - 2011-07-04 14:17

    This is Africa!

      saabnut - 2011-07-04 14:21

      Yep- Please may I have some more GRAAAAAAVY?

      saabnut - 2011-07-04 14:22

      Actually, that should have read: I WANT MORE GRAAAAAAAAAAVY!!!!!!!!!!!

      MandlaSithole - 2011-07-04 14:47

      I should also demand it. I'm the right color mos. This "standing for what's right" nonsence is not paying me! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Moeletsi-The-President/205134709529957

      Parko - 2011-07-04 14:59

      Does anyone in the ANC know what the concept of "Public Servant" means ? I honestly think that their idea of being in power simply means you hit the jackpot. Get elected and its the good life. Who builds the roads , schools , jails ? " Don't ask me I'm just a minister "

      jowza - 2011-07-04 15:06

      thanks for telling us smaal,for a moment we forgot

      Together - 2011-07-04 15:11

      Wouldn't it be nice if Cosatu/Numsa could protest outside Parliament about this? But then, they'd have to really really CARE about the poor and SA's budget, right? These questions are the real acid test that show us who cares, and who doesn't.

      Syndrome - 2011-07-04 15:14

      Thanks Leonidas

      myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 15:18

      How much travelling cost would be deemed enough for a year for the Minister and Deputy incl. officials in the Minister's office?

      mbvdlza - 2011-07-04 15:28

      Ja. Viva ANC. this is where the tax money goes, not to the people in the poor sectors who blame whites, the moon, floods and what else...

      Worldwise - 2011-07-04 18:37

      @ Myancmyfutur. Hasn't each minister got two cars, one for Cape Town and one for Pretoria, worth about a million bucks each, bought for them by the taxpayer? Now why do they need to hire luxury cars?

  • TamaraSays - 2011-07-04 14:18

    This, in spite of them earning big salaries, and no doubt having their own fancy cars. Can our parliament PLEASE learn to skype, so they don't have to jet around the country, at tax payer expense, spending a fortune every time?

      Shadoz - 2011-07-04 14:24

      can't expect them to do that it is free they want suff that costs money for free. If it is already free they will find a way to spend money on it.

      saabnut - 2011-07-04 14:30

      Don't you have to be literate to Skype?

      saabnut - 2011-07-04 14:31

      Then again, I am sure they won't be interested in Skype, as Iyou can't steal using a camera...

      TamaraSays - 2011-07-04 14:35

      Saabnut, actually, you can video skype. It seems, sometimes, that our parliamentarians want to attend the opening of an envelop, just to rack up those frequent flier miles. Would cramp their style a little though, and hey, those millions don't have anywhere better to go - like housing and schooling...

      myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 15:23

      I dont think its possible for a minister to drive from Cape Town to Nelspruit, very few people do. When you look at the DA figures they look shocking but once you break them down they dont look excessive

      TamaraSays - 2011-07-04 15:36

      But they could Skype. Or email. Or fax. They don't HAVE to fly around the country to congratulate / skeem or skelm ALL the time you know.

      Worldwise - 2011-07-04 18:44

      @ Myancmyfutue. They have a car in Pretoria and in Cape Town, each worth a million bucks bought for them by the taxpayer. They get about 30 free flights a year. So to get from Cape Town to Nelspruit, they can fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg and drive one of their super luxurious million buck cars to Nelspruit on the N4 highway, the tolls, fuel and maintenance costs being paid by the taxpayer. Open your eyes, they're ripping you off but you don't want to see it and you defend them.

  • DAB - 2011-07-04 14:20

    And so it goes on. Nothing surprises me anymore. Typicle attitude of entitlement (It's my right.....)Frigging hell, it's our money they are wasting, but you can't fart against thunder...

  • Cupra - 2011-07-04 14:23

    President JZ - grow a pair and put YOUR people in their place!!! I hold YOU, 100% accountable for ALL wasted funds!!!

      Ruff-ian - 2011-07-04 14:29

      Jz-is most likely reading this and thinking What!!!, What!!!. picks up the phone and says to the PA ...memo all ministers to take shower to night.

      BigD - 2011-07-04 14:46

      ja mad man. What can I say. Troll. You are also a stupid.

      Together - 2011-07-04 15:12

      Wouldn't it be nice if Cosatu/Numsa could protest outside Parliament about this? But then, they'd have to really really CARE about the poor and SA's budget, right? These questions are the real acid test that show us who cares, and who doesn't.

      tonno - 2011-07-04 15:14

      @Mad man - oh, mad man, do you not tire of this pathetic, childish game that you play? You disappeared for a while but you have been quite busy with your drivel today. Slow day at work perhaps?

  • Localguy - 2011-07-04 14:27

    What the whiteys did then,the darkies are doing now.It's really a pity the colourd's cannot also stand together instead of breaking each other down.

      bent5000 - 2011-07-04 14:44

      local idiot

      BigD - 2011-07-04 14:46

      yes, that might be true. But there are only 5 mil of us whities.

      Albo - 2011-07-04 14:49

      @Localguy - Do you pay tax???

      Thor - 2011-07-04 15:12

      Well you are correct in the sence that the current bunch are no better than the previous bunch. Just a different colour

      mbvdlza - 2011-07-04 15:31

      Don't always make it a race thing. It's a competency thing. The whities of old were right and stupid, the anc is left and stupid, and additionally manipulated by those younger and far less clued than them. Oh and we shouldn't even be debating this without them approving the comments, freedom of media censorship and such... shhhhh.

      Aish - 2011-07-04 15:44

      The difference before now and then, is then even though spending was an issue, things were at least run properly!!!!

  • 50something - 2011-07-04 14:30

    Oliver Twist - "Please can I have some more?". F you -I'll just take, it's not my money.

  • Uthando - 2011-07-04 14:31

    Pigs!!

      saabnut - 2011-07-04 15:33

      at the trough slurping GRAVY...

  • Kevin King - 2011-07-04 14:33

    Well when ministers are multi-millionaire tenderpreneurs living in mansions you can't allow them to drive in cheap R200,000 cars. That would not be good tasting gravy.

  • jacques14@24.com - 2011-07-04 14:34

    nothing new.....AFRICA. http://urbantitan.com/10-mad-dictators-from-20th-and-21st-century/

  • BigD - 2011-07-04 14:44

    I dont think this is a big problem. They dont say for how long these amounts are for - one year or what. Just wait till they show us what the travel expenses are for private car usage for public servants. The public will mess their pants.

      bent5000 - 2011-07-04 14:48

      Read bru. "Earlier this parliamentary term, I submitted a question to each member of the executive to determine how much had been spent on car hire for each minister and deputy minister since March 2010," he said. Its a huge problem, unless you're a minister of course.

  • bent5000 - 2011-07-04 14:46

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      Ann - 2011-07-04 15:29

      I like this one. Perhaps we should also try the hear and speak versions of this particular graphic. Not necessarily all in a row ...

  • Natasha - 2011-07-04 14:53

    Hmmm, all that money could have gone on helping state hospitals or children in need, makes me so angry knowing we pay our taxes and it gets waisted on a drive in a nice car, now that is what I call "Selfishness" on people that is suppose to help make our country a better place. What has happened to logic??? I'm beginning to thing they are getting this attitude "DO IT NOW, APOLOGISE LATER !!!!

  • Fredster69 - 2011-07-04 14:56

    If you are not used to it, you misuse it

  • T@xpayer - 2011-07-04 14:57

    There is zero accountability. In 1st world countires these peoiple would be fired and imprisoned and possibly executed. Legal theft. Nothing will happen to the people, nothing will change. Even after all the taxes we pay, tolls etc. we still have to apy for EVERYTHING else - education, transport, security (whats that?!) etc..etc...Welcome to another corrupt African country that WILL go down the tubes. I'ts only a mtter of time- you know it, I know, everyone knows it.

      ratex - 2011-07-04 15:05

      You what the sad thing is, if or when it does go down the tubes, these twits will still blame the "white man" for the f8ckup? Eeeish, I cant beleef. The day of reckoning , she is coming.

  • Southern - 2011-07-04 14:59

    Well done, that is constructive opposition. What about the toll roads in Gauteng? 40 Billion for an extra lane, doesn't that sound excessive? We would like to see how much something like this cost in other countries. The costs for Gauteng are about similar to those of a german autobahn. But they are talking about a NEW Autobahn (three lanes) and that Autobahn is a quality piece of road with proper signage, automated traffic control and close to zero death toll!

  • Almaki - 2011-07-04 15:04

    So most of them bought luxury vehicles at ridiculous prices, and now they need to hire cars on a weekly basis? What on earth happened to the original vehicles?

      myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 15:15

      They cant drive from Musina to Mafikeng to Upington to Ulundi to Tsolo and Cape Town with the same vehicles week in week out

      TamaraSays - 2011-07-04 15:37

      But you can skype. You can email. You can fax. Or you could hire cheap cars when you DO have to fly. These people are WASTING tax payer money. How can that NOT be shocking?

      myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 15:50

      @ TamaraSays, we need to understand the purpose of each trip before we criticise, eg for the Minister of Water Affairs to be able to report on progress on the the de Hoop dam in Steelpoort she needs first hand information.

      Worldwise - 2011-07-04 19:02

      @ Myancmyfutur. What technical, engineering or other qualifications does the Minister of Water Affairs have that requires a site visit to check on the reports from persons qualified to assess the situation? Is the Minister capable of credibly refuting or endorsing their reports with first hand information? I doubt whether the Minister could perform a scientific analysis of drinking water correctly. Believe me, and I have seen it several times, when a Minister visits it involves a cursory look around at the things the officials want the Minister to see. The real problems are hidden. Only the top boys who have been briefed get to speak to the Minister. Then its off to the snacks and drinkies. Ministers should not be driving everywhere week in and out. The role of management is to be available to all role players. The Minister needs to be contactable in an office at the end of a phone or email when not in parliament. Ministers have staff to do the running and driving around.

  • myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 15:07

    These are costs for the Minister and Deputy over a period of 12 months. eg when a minister is in another province for a week that would cost around R6000 per vehicle as in always the case they travel with an entourage of officials with 3 to 4 cars and that would be between R 18 000 to R 30 000 and if such visits occur 20 times a year that would be around R 180 000 to R 300 000 seems fairly fair.

      Together - 2011-07-04 15:12

      Wouldn't it be nice if Cosatu/Numsa could protest outside Parliament about this? But then, they'd have to really really CARE about the poor and SA's budget, right? These questions are the real acid test that show us who cares, and who doesn't.

      myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 15:13

      Actualy 20 times would be between R 360 000 to R 600 000 per annum

      saabnut - 2011-07-04 15:36

      Very fair if you live off gravy...

      myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 15:52

      @Saabnut, then if they dont chow gravy, what are they suppose to do?

      Jo - 2011-07-04 16:19

      @ myancmyfutur: Buy something cheaper? Budget like the rest of us? Look at the money in your hand and make it go the extra mile because it's a precious and finite resource...?

      myancmyfutur - 2011-07-04 16:52

      @ Jo, as this is a case of car hire, are you saying they should hire Picantos or Polo vivos? Proving that they should have cars that provide a minimum safety requirement, I beleive a Mercedez C180 cannot be regarded as excessive.

      Worldwise - 2011-07-04 19:09

      Picantos and Polo Vivos do provide the minimum safety requirement. If they don't, why did the government allow death traps on the roads? Unsafe vehicles should never make it onto our roads and it is is a government function to regulate road safety. The Minister is my and your servant and paid by me and you. If I can hire a Picanto, so can the minister.

  • Syndrome - 2011-07-04 15:10

    If Avis didn't charge so much, none of this would be a problem. I recommend Nationalization.

      saabnut - 2011-07-04 15:37

      and a Bells for yourself. Irony is, they won't see the irony...

      tryanything - 2011-07-04 15:52

      avis nationalised the assets will be stripped within a week....

  • Ann Wilson - 2011-07-04 15:18

    Faces in the trough once more. It's a wonder they don't choke on their greed.

  • Ann - 2011-07-04 15:30

    Keep up the pressure! Other parties should also open their mouths regarding this state of affairs.

      tryanything - 2011-07-04 15:50

      No natasha vote now we will fix it later.

  • johan - 2011-07-04 15:38

    THESE FOOLS CANNOT THINK.WHY DO THEY ABUSE THEIR POSITIONS? THEY SHOULD RATHER HELP THOSE THAT PUT THEM IN POWER. EICH!!!!!!!!!

  • tryanything - 2011-07-04 15:53

    Watch Ian Ollis I think he will go places....

  • Just peachee - 2011-07-04 15:54

    well fed & brain dead & no answers

  • Hardus Steyn - 2011-07-04 16:43

    I tell you what - Write one article and start it with Ministers spend 'recklessly' .... and just create a list ..... no need to write a different article every week on another topic then......

  • Leon Groenewald - 2011-07-04 19:08

    Is corruption the result of in-accountability or are people just not held accountable because their infractions are negligible compared to those of the truly corrupt?

  • dotty_01 - 2011-07-05 06:58

    it is in their genes - they are incapable of self regulation. they should not be the rule-makers. they are like children and need strict boundaries. maybe they will evolve, but we will not see the evidence of this in our lifetime....

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