More ministers get bling boost

2009-07-22 22:03

Cape Town - Following Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda's confirmation last week that he spent R2.4m of public money on a brace of BMWs for his official use, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says she too has purchased a pair of luxury vehicles.

In a written response to a parliamentary question, posed by the Democratic Alliance, Motshekga said her department had splashed out on a new Range Rover and a BMW 730D, at a combined cost of R1.7m.

The reply appears to indicate that one of the vehicles is for official use by her colleague, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, in Cape Town.

The other is understood to be for her use in Pretoria.

While one of the vehicles was bought to "replace the existing vehicle which will reach its end of life in August" this year, Motshekga also appears to have inherited an older departmental vehicle, a 2004-model Mercedes-Benz E320.

BMW bling

In a statement on Wednesday, DA basic education spokesperson Juanita Kloppers said such spending on vehicles was extravagant and unnecessary.

"To put this kind of expenditure into context, if every government department is to spend this amount on new vehicles for its minister over the course of the next year or years, it will cost the taxpayer approximately R60m," she said.

Last week, Nyanda said he had bought two 2009 BMW 750i models, at a cost of R1 135 500 each.

He also revealed that he had spent R148 400 on extras for the vehicles - the Pretoria-based BMW is fitted with a R23 400 "rear-seat entertainment" system, and sports a R5 600 "high-gloss satin chrome" paint job.