Minister spends R400 000 on car hire

2013-09-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — With the money that the minister of Public Works spent in a month to rent an E-Class Mercedes-Benz, he could have bought a new car.

In answer to a parliamentary question by DA MP Patricia Kopane, minister Thulas Nxesi said he hired cars when he did not have an official vehicle available.

He spent R136 481 to hire the E-Class for a month, for which money he could have bought and registered a compact VW Polo Vivo, which sells for less than R136 000.

Last year, Nxesi had spent just under R60 000 to hire an S-Class Mercedes-Benz for three days. Other cars on which he spent money include a:

• Jeep Cherokee: R21 716 for two days;

• Mercedes-Benz ML: R23 186 for three days;

• Jaguar XRF: R6 474 for one day; and

• Audi Q7: R9 120 for one day.

From January 21 last year to June 11 this year, Nxesi spent almost R400 000 to hire cars.

DA MP Anchen Dreyer said these expenses were excessive and unacceptable.

She said the minister had two official cars, one in Pretoria and one in Cape Town, and it was impossible for both vehicles to be unavailable.

“Nxesi is not setting any example for his officials,” Dreyer said.

Nxesi’s spokesperson Sabelo Mali had not reacted to questions at the time of going to press.

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