R65m spent to spruce up ministers' homes

2013-01-19 23:21

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Johannesburg - The public works department spent nearly R65 million renovating the homes of ministers and deputy ministers in the 2011-2012 financial year, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper said Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi had admitted this in a parliamentary response to an MP's question on 14 December.

The renovation bills include: R15m spent on a Cape Town house allocated to Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti, an overhaul to a house costing R10.67m which was earmarked for use by Deputy Transport Minister Lydia Chikunga, and just under R5m on upgrades to a home allocated to Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Mtobeli Mxotwa, a spokesperson for Nkwinti, told the Sunday Times: "Minister Nkwinti does not have power over state assets or the homes. He just takes whatever the department of public works allocates."

Chikunga said it was "unfortunate and unfair" to be linked to the exorbitant spending.

"I have never requested renovations of R10m."

Joemat-Pettersson's spokesperson, Palesa Mokomele, referred queries to the public works department.

- SAPA
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