Cabinet still hasn't discussed bling-book

2011-11-10 22:46
Cape Town - An independent commission's review of the ministerial handbook has not yet been discussed by Cabinet, three months after it was made public.

"Those recommendations, they have not been tabled to Cabinet yet," government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi told Cabinet's regular fortnightly briefing on Thursday.

"So I suppose it is in the process of coming to Cabinet."

The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, announced proposed changes to the handbook in August.

These included reducing ministerial car allowance from 70% to 60% of ministers' annual salaries and barring MPs from staying in five-star hotels on state cost.

The commission also recommended an across-the-board five percent salary increase for all public office bearers, from the president to MECs to town councillors.

The government has come under sustained pressure from opposition parties to downscale ministerial benefits.

This came after numerous ministers purchased luxury cars costing in the vicinity of R1m as official vehicles, and rang up steep hotel bills.

Last month, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela also called for the guide to be amended to set more modest standards for ministerial accommodation.

The recommendation was contained in her report on a probe into allegations that Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa spent more than R700,000 at two five-star hotels in Durban.

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