Presidential homes - taxpayers cough up

2010-11-04 22:30

Cape Town – Taxpayers have shelled out more than R5m over the past financial year to maintain the five presidential residences, where President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe live.

This was the answer of Collins Chabane, minister in the presidency, on Wednesday to a parliamentary question from the DA.

However Athol Trollip, the DA’s parliamentary leader, is of the opinion that Chabane is not telling the whole truth and is trying to hide the real cost of maintaining these houses.

“The reported R5.3m is only the running cost and doesn’t include maintenance and the salaries of the 113 staff members who work there,” Trollip said.

According to him, Chabane also refuses to say how many days Zuma and Motlanthe spent at these residences.

“The minister’s refusal to release this information denies South Africans the right to know how their tax money is spent,” Trollip said.

Trollip is also upset about the fact that Chabane took longer than five months to answer this question regarding the presidential residences.

It was only answered once Motlanthe instructed Chabane to do so.