Zuma flies SAA to USA

2016-09-17 22:23
President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

President Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma has flown to New York City using South African Airways (SAA), the Presidency said on Saturday.

The President had a pleasant flight from Johannesburg to New York, said presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga.

Zuma recommended the national carrier as the country marks Tourism Month in September.

The Presidency earlier in the week denied claims that Zuma preferred using chartered planes instead of the South African Air Force (SAAF) fleet.

That was after the Democratic Alliance said the government had allocated R273 972 per day for the lease of a jet for Zuma, while insiders say there is no logical reason for not flying in the existing presidential plane, Inkwazi.

In response to a parliamentary question the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, indicated that R100m had been “allocated for the leasing of the VIP-configured jet for the 2016/17 financial year".

The ministry was also looking into leasing a plane from SAA and adapting it for Zuma – to the tune of R20m. 

"The Presidency reiterates that it prefers the use of aircraft within the South African Air Force fleet to transport the President and Deputy President [Cyril Ramaphosa] and allegations made by aviation experts in the media that Zuma prefers chartered aircraft are not true," Ngqulunga said at the time.  

Ngqulunga said both Zuma and Ramaphosa were currently being transported in chartered aircraft locally and abroad, "due to non-availability of reliable aircraft within the SAAF fleet".

The Presidency said it agreed with experts that the use of smaller planes for local travel and the general use of the SAAF fleet, instead of hiring aircraft, would be more cost-effective option for government.


In 2015, Zuma faced intense criticism following reports that R4bn would be spent on acquiring a new plane for him and his entourage.

It was reported that the luxury jet would also have a conference room, bathroom and private bedroom, and would accommodate 30 passengers.

During the outcry over Zuma's jet, University of Pretoria politics lecturer Roland Henwood told News24 that only US President Barack Obama had a better plane than Zuma.

"There are world leaders who have presidential jets, but they are business jets.

"They are much smaller than what he [Zuma] has at this stage," Henwood said.

"Only President Obama has a better aircraft."

Read more on:    saa  |  jacob zuma  |  us  |  parliament 2016

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.