Cabinet’s Cape bling pads

2011-08-28 19:30

Cape Town - The government spent at least R46m this year snapping up Cape Town mansions for Cabinet ministers at inflated prices.

The deals form part of a controversial public works property ­programme which is currently the subject of a probe by the Special Investigating Unit.

Last week Parliament confirmed that R183m had been spent by the embattled public works department since May 2009 to acquire houses for Cabinet ministers and their deputies in Cape Town and Pretoria.

A City Press investigation has established details of some of these Cape Town mansions and the opulent furnishings bought for ministers and other politicians.

Public works has steadfastly refused to say to whom the seven homes have been allocated.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Nomaindia Mfeketo has been allotted one of them – a Tuscan-style mansion in Delaire Road in the exclusive new suburb in Van Riebeeckshof, ­Bellville, even though a residential property she owns through a ­company is a mere 9km away.

Her house sports an air-conditioned bedroom, a designer kitchen with a stainless steel gas hob and plush dark-wood finishes, an outdoor entertainment area with a stainless steel braai, pool and imposing stairs leading up to a ­terraced garden – and six garages.

The state paid R8m for the mansion, despite the property being valued at R1.7m on the City of Cape Town’s valuation roll.

Property valuators who spoke to City Press did, however, estimate that a realistic value would be about R7m.

She is entitled to a state home in terms of official ministerial rules.

Highest prices

Deeds records show that the property purchases made by the state in Bellville are among the highest prices paid for property in that particular neighbourhood.

A market analysis of the seven properties, which takes into account the size, fittings and comparable properties in the area, puts their total value at R37.4m.

While higher than the municipal valuation, it’s still far off the R46m the state paid.

The public works department confirmed that all these properties were purchased as part of its Prestige Portfolio, which provides housing to Cabinet members, ­deputy ministers and other officials in government’s top tiers.

Citing security reasons, it refused to say which properties were allocated to which ministers or deputies.

“The identification of the properties was purely based on the condition and age of the houses,” said public works spokesperson Thami Mchunu.

“These were newly constructed houses which did not require any structural alterations, as opposed to the houses around (Cape Town’s) southern suburbs.”

Mchunu said the department had conducted its own property evaluation and made presentations to the Land Affairs Board.

DA MP Erik Marais, who questioned the properties’ purchase in Parliament, noted that five of the six properties in Bellville spanned more than 700m².

  • Dundermoose - 2011-08-28 20:01

    If these homes remain the property of the state, and these ministers pay rent at market rates, then I'm happy. Why should ministers get a home for free while the rest of us have to pay out of our own pockets for a roof over our heads?

      THE.SRG - 2011-08-28 20:21

      yup....and the shack dwellers wonder why they still in shacks,but no they will blame apartheid,not the greedy fat mistake the greedy fat cats

      cliffarc - 2011-08-28 21:37

      - Can someone tell me if there is any justification left for paying taxes to a govt. that is pissing all over us and our money down the drain ?

      MyPal_Al - 2011-08-28 23:01

      @Dundermoose, Perhaps we should also be asking who the houses belonged too before they were sold to the state, possibly might find a few other connected ANC cadrels or their family with a heads up to buy low and sell excessively high to the connected friend of family in Public Works.

      Netherlander - 2011-08-29 03:30

      The properties are in FACT, SEEN AS THEIR "HOLIDAY HOMES"... After all, when they go to C/Town to sit in Parliament, they end up SLEEPING IN THE BENCHES ANYWAY!!!! Then they retire to their "LUXURIOUS HOLIDAY HOMES"

      debrakayestylist - 2011-08-29 12:20

      Like "Moeletsi Mbeki FOR President" on facebook if you are sick of this nonsese!

      Together - 2011-08-29 13:54

      But there's no money for important investigations into corrupt deals? Sell all these houses and designate the funds for proper state business.

      cliffarc - 2011-08-29 15:13

      - Anyone else notice the complete absence and silence of the Poloya's, Kolobe's etc. when it comes to Anc greed and lavishness ?

      Zebelon - 2011-08-29 16:19

      Dundermoose, Please do not make statements that are devoid of any truth; talk about payment of rentals is your imagination, and is not true. Try and find out about rentals by MPs and you will fall on your back.

      Thembisile - 2011-08-29 19:17

      I think we all have to face up to reality that our current crop of politicians are only in for themselve, they do not give a damn about the poor and those contributing hugely towards the tax base.

  • Worker - 2011-08-28 20:08

    That's where the money for hospitals, schools, public prosecutions and roads is going. SA is rapidly becoming just another failed African banana republic (bananas are expensive too).

  • AA - 2011-08-28 20:52

    Sweet, nice. This is beauitful. Bet these houses do not overlook the shacks in Cape Town, the ministers probably do not even have to drive past them. The shack dwellers should pack up and move, right into the garden of one of these houses. They should see how many shacks they can fit on one piece of land.Also there will not be open toilets, they can just one of the many in the house. After all it is public property right ?

  • R.Suppards - 2011-08-28 20:52

    Mail & Guardian will have the free loaders nailed on this!!!

  • kilo39 - 2011-08-28 20:57

    Are these cabinet ministers taxed on the value of these benefits...and if they are taxed, what's the bet it is based on the municipal valuation and not the cost to the state (you and I). I don't begrudge the ministers a decent house to stay in but this is so overly excessive that I condsider it 'obscene'. Of course it would be an easier pill to swallow if any of these ministers were actually making a huge and positive impact on what is happening in the country...but alas it seems that they are mostly as ineffective as leaders as a knife is in a gunfight!

      White Knight - 2011-08-28 21:54

      Careful. they'll turn it around and say they have no "smarts" (other than ho to steal) cos they had Bantu eduction. What they have is `bantu thievery and corruption 101'- How to screw over your fellow man - black and white

  • camelthief - 2011-08-28 21:33

    and yet the government wants to stop foreign ownership of property in Cape Town because it claims this is inflating prices and therefore negatively affecting the ability of poorer people to buy property. There is one word for this: Hypocracy!

      Together - 2011-08-29 15:08

      of course. And remember when the Scorpions could seize the assets of crooks and corrupters? There would be no shortage of funds to investigate the next lot, but sadly Hawks have no sting.

  • White Knight - 2011-08-28 21:52

    What this government is doing to us is worse than rape which is often a spontaneous act. What we are being subjected to is premeditated, callous in the extreme, cruel, undignified, amoral,thoughtless and heartless as well. It is not even asking someone to bend over and take it. It is forcing them up against a wall and lining up the gang to gang-rape them and laugh while we get "service delivery'. F*ck them. Enough is enough. It's time we held them accountable and make them bend over backwards to serve our interests, instead of screwing us over till we bleed.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-28 21:59

    Unbelievable how these overpaid fat-cats enrich themselves. First there was travel-gate,now property-gate.The ANC greed is never-ending! Load the pockets comrades!

  • Wishbone - 2011-08-28 22:02

    This is yet another example of economic rape of the SA taxpayer. Surely the time whereby taxpayers stop paying taxes is near?!

  • dave_23 - 2011-08-29 00:20

    Yet another reason for a tax boycott (I guess this post will also be deleted by News24)

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-08-29 06:21

    I can understand ministers need secure accommodation - why not have a ministerial village (town house style), even if they build a complex themselves according to security and reasonable comfort requirements. Yet another kick in the face for the poor this by a black elite whom claims to represent them. The ANC lie continues.

      RGL - 2011-08-30 08:36

      They have a ministerial village. Has been on the corner of the N1 & N7 Wingfield for 50 years. They had to move out thought because there were cases of house-breaking within their own secure village ! LOL (It's true - look it up.)

  • refilwe mashigo - 2011-08-29 07:07

    Can they stop spending taxpayers money on their own lavish lifestyles as a hobby though?? what great good have they done to justify this extravagance? such greedy behaviour

  • 50something - 2011-08-29 07:47

    But there is no money to fight corruption ... ?

  • Douglas Hendry - 2011-08-29 08:37

    Tell the homeless where these mansions are, and let them invade the places. See what action, if any, the guards take. People might just see how our Government live, like the Libyans did when they finally saw into Gadaffis compound.

  • beicime - 2011-08-29 10:06

    I have no idea why... but inflated prices is the common practice. What's the reason for this report? Do these reporters think that their article will change things?

  • Badballie - 2011-08-29 10:49

    The corrupt get richer and more corrupt and the masses keep voting them in, this country and its people deserve what it gets, in the old days these public officials would have been run out of town, of course that doesn't happen in the new politically correct terrorist run (sic!!)"democracy"

  • Mariki - 2011-08-29 12:14

    Reading this, and also reading that there is no funds available to investigate Malema?? How much worse can it get??

  • zackie - 2011-08-29 12:39

    the most these ministers deserve is an rdp house in gugs or khayelista my domestic worker makes a bigger contribution to SA then anc ministers

  • Wackyme - 2011-08-29 13:40

    Amazing that the stste can pay more than evaluations for these houses, yet want to pay the farmers far less for their land. Eish

  • Other Justin - 2011-08-29 15:21

    Choo chooooo and the gravy train rumbles on.....

  • JWM24 - 2011-08-29 15:21

    So "she is entitled to a state home in terms of official ministerial rules"? Well then, it is high time to change these rules.

  • crocoros - 2011-08-29 15:25

    Its time we form the NOT PAYING TAXES UNION until government get their big fat A&%^$& into gear and see that our tax money is going where it is supposed to go and not into the pockets of the fat and lazy. They should now be getting off their behinds and start working for what the taxpayers is paying them to do. Work and work and work for the people who is paying their salaries and if they don't we demand they do not get a 5% pay hike as they are good for nothing. The same rules should apply to them equal pay for equal pay. Having said that I think they are hugely overpaid, because they do nothing except pay lip service.

  • Robin - 2011-08-29 15:30

    why why why???? and so the looting of the tax payers money continues... wonder whats gonna happen once we're bled dry?

  • mogirl - 2011-08-29 15:39

    if the anc is really elected by black people, the majority of which reside in townships, why dont these bloody politicians just stay with the people who keep voting them into power? THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!!

  • Zebelon - 2011-08-29 16:11

    Decocracy is "government of the people, by the people, for the people". Point of correction - the regime understands democracy to mean "government of the elite, by the elite, for the elite and all previleges acquired by them".

  • AdamC - 2011-08-29 18:36

    Yeaaaay, finally a move in the right direction. More more more, spend more, live it up. The faster, more lavish the better. I want to see gold line the streets where you live. Its take the stupid uneducated masses this long to see that this new government is no good for them, and its probably going to take a little longer. You see, Rome was not built in a day and this black nation is patient, very patient. So keep doing what you are doing, spill the milk on the ground. Days of cold and hunger are soon approaching and once youve squandered the richess, the less entitled will demand, from the more entitled, their fair share of the splendour. It will be a great day when the masses finally realize that there truly is nothing in it for them - that will be the true uprising. So run along, my fat pig friend, you day will come - and its not going to be as pretty as you may think. PS - The tax money that generated the wealth to pay for these mansions was generated by the whites that you so easily dismiss, pity that they are a minority and not even their hard work is a bottom less pit. Times runnign out.

  • call a spade - 2011-08-29 19:45

    They want property in the WC where the DA rules.Ha Ha HAAAA

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2011-08-29 22:12

    We all know that the people of SA will raise the price as soon as they know it's a government contract. We are a bunch of hypocrites.We blame the government for being skelm, but most of SA feels justified in screwing everybody else, and feel more than justified in screwing the Government.

  • umlaut - 2011-08-30 07:37

    Why is this sort of thing happening over and over. Surely they should know it is the wrong thing to do?

  • - 2011-08-30 09:38

    I've got a house for sale in a quiet suburb, close to city centre, beach, major transport routes, shopping centres and a mere 9km from Parliament. Come on government, pay an inflated price for it and you can add to the assets of the country.

  • Sithandazile - 2011-08-30 10:58

    This is just nonsense...on the other side people need raises on their salaries and on the other we have ministers who live in mansions, even though we dont see any changes which they are suppose to make!!!!

  • Marcus Westin - 2011-08-30 12:36

    What a waste of taxpayers money. And they are not even ashamed of it. The ANC is rotten to the core.

  • Daemos1 - 2011-08-30 13:27

    Dear ANC: please just come and shoot me in the face with a shotgun, I'd rather die now that starve to death while you slowly leech away my ever-increasing tax so that you have a nice place to jol while on the coast. I have taken out 2 loans and should be able to afford a gun and ammunition in the next week. Thanks guys, you're awesome

  • DivaTash - 2011-08-30 13:35

    so this is what I wake up every morning sit in traffic and spend a gruelling day at work for - these people should fund their own lifestyles and homes improve the public services fund decent education and tend to the homeless or is that also my added responsibility?

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