Ministers' housing to cost nearly R6bn

2012-03-12 07:23

Johannesburg - New housing and offices for ministers, their deputies and members of Parliament will cost nearly R6bn, it was reported on Monday.

The Star newspaper reported that last year's budget documents put the total cost of the Prestige Portfolio programme around R4bn.

This year's Budget documents said the rise to R5.74bn was related to housing for ministers and their deputies, particularly with regards to "Parliamentary villages" in Cape Town and Pretoria.

The department of public works had reportedly ignored attempts by the newspaper to explain the rise in spending. The portfolio currently falls under the department's budget allocation.

The Budget documents state that the main reason for the cost increase was Cabinet's expansion in 2009.

In two years from 2007/08 to 2009/10 - when the planning for the expanded Cabinet came into effect - the prestige budget doubled.

The breakdown of spending over the past seven years of the programme was listed in each year's budget, but did not include the full cost of the programme. The amount for only those years were listed.

  • Wendy - 2012-03-12 07:37

    The don't need new buildings, but a new Government

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 08:42

      I believe that MPs do require housing near Parliament. In Cape Town they live in MP parks which are far and as a result they are stuck in traffic and then delay Parliamentary proceedings. So for the MPs to live near Parliament makes sense, however some explanation is required as to why the budget has ballooned in the way it has. I would even say some MPs would be asking the same question.

      Andrew - 2012-03-12 08:46

      This money is not for MP's housing but for the additional ministers Zuma has appointed to his inflated cabinet.

      Daniel - 2012-03-12 08:58

      I like being kissed while I am being screwed, and I'm not being kissed here, once again! How many RDP houses could be built with this money. In fact I would hazard a guess that if you took all the sqandered, stolen, arms deal money,SWC money, etc, then every person in this country could already have had a home. These fat baas-teds are milking us dry!! Public servants my @$$ !!

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 08:59

      read again, it is for "members of parliament", which are MPs the last time I checked, and ministers and their deputies.

      Azmeena - 2012-03-12 09:24

      If I could like a comment more than once I would click on yours a hundred times.

      Henry - 2012-03-12 12:26

      So true. 6 billion is 6000 million, which means even if they are just buying houses and each house cost 5 million they could buy 1200 houses. Soon, enough will be enough and this redistribution will come to an end. I think we've paid our dues and now its a case of us being taken advantage of - and ppl of this country are waking up, we know it.

      Andrew - 2012-03-12 14:12

      s4turnz, Yes the money is for MP's but the statement says it also for ministers,and deputies. Guess where the bulk will be spent. Further I must say you use a lot of choice words on your Facebook page. Shame on you.

      Silvana - 2012-03-12 14:16

      @s4turnz Oh Boo hoo to them. So they get stuck in traffic like the rest of us. Solution. Leave half an hour earlier like the rest of us do. Delay what parliamentary proceedings? Half of them don't even pitch up for "work" most of the time.

  • Dennis - 2012-03-12 07:37

    As the Afrikaans people say " hulle sit oore aan ons" !!

  • Wikus - 2012-03-12 07:39

    Live in your palaces while your fellow comrades die in poverty.

      Max - 2012-03-12 07:58

      Agree, keep p!ssing on the poor, they will revolt. The problem is the ANC is channelling the anger towards the wrong people and that we must expose with every means possible.

      Sharon - 2012-03-12 08:28

      This information should be put on flyers and distributed nationally. The people that cannot read and write will soon get the gist of what it contains through discussion. They must be made aware of the wastage of this useless government!

      ralph.schminke - 2012-03-12 08:50

      Indeed. We can either house a few ministers and public workers. Or more than 60000 people ?? which do you think is the right choice... So the government shouts ... the ministers....

      mlucejko - 2012-03-12 11:26

      Have you ever seen the 'state' of these so called RDP houses once they are built?? They are a disgrace !! These people move from a 'tin-shack' to a 'brick-shack' I can almost see the 'thoughts' of these Government ministers "That's good enough for 'them'.. The ANC has become very arrogant !!

      Silvana - 2012-03-12 14:20

      @Sharon The problem is that people that cannot read have no concetion of what a million is let alone a billion.

      Silvana - 2012-03-12 14:21

      sorry. Concetion = conception

      Steve - 2012-04-02 15:59

      @ Sharon. I couldn't agree more. If all the wasteful expenditure and theft could be conveyed in some way to the rural masses, it won't take a rocket scientist among them to realize just how much the ANC they so readily vote for, is selling them down the river. Maybe this is where the opposition parties should be concentrating their efforts.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-03-12 07:39

    So, we pay R6 billion a year for housing, for people who earn over R80,000 a month?

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 08:44

      MPs don't actually live in Cape Town or Pretoria, they live all over the country. So when they are expected to be in Parliament in Cape town or Pretoria they need a place to stay.

      Sinudeity - 2012-03-12 08:53

      s4turnz - Are the MP's renting? You forget that once a property is purchased, you dont need to buy it again. Why would the budget for them increase by R2 billion in light of that? With that said though, we are spending around R12 million per MP per year.

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 09:01

      ownership will not be transferred to MPs. If you work for a company and they tell you to go to another location for work purposes, who incurs the cost of travelling and lodging? you or the employer? It is the exact same principle here.

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 09:11

      by the way I am not saying the R6bn is justified, and MPs will probably interrogate this with Public Works, but I do not believe MPs should incur the cost of travelling and lodging when they have to report to Parliament.

      Sinudeity - 2012-03-12 09:13

      s4turnz - The government owns the houses in parliamentary village. If an MP is fired/let go, then another MP moves into his house. Why would they keep needing to buy houses? The amount of MP's if fixed at 500. The number does not increase every year. Nor does the location of parlaiment. Travel expenses are not included in the housing for MP's budget. Thats another can of worms.

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 09:15

      the parks are far from Parliament. I have attended committee hearings where most of the members were unable to make it because they were stuck in Cape town traffic. so now they wish to have the housing moved to the CBD which makes sense.

      Sinudeity - 2012-03-12 09:23

      s4turnz - Funny how the majority of people who work in CT, who are also stuck in traffic, make it in time though. "so now they wish to have the housing moved to the CBD which makes sense." Thats ironic, because I do recall quite a few MP's buying themselves houses in the Northern suburbs last year. Quite a distance away from parliament.

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 09:32

      Sinudeity, I think you are quite ignorant of the situation. do you even know where MPs are housed when they are in CT, have you been to these villages to see the condition they are in? I used to live in the suburbs and I made the move to the CBD because the traffic is so bad so I can fully understand the move by governement to have them housed closer to Parliament, especially when you consider the costs incurred when they are unable to reach a quorom.

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 09:33

      furthermore, when a company sends you to another city for work purposes, they don't house you on the other side of the city and expect you to travel to get to your work destination, the company will try its best to house you as close as possible to where you are supposed to work

      Sinudeity - 2012-03-12 09:48

      s4turnz - Boohoo, a couple of thousand people deal with the same issues that the poor MP's are dealing with. Traffic and whatnot. But you see, you just wake up 1 hour earlier. And yes, Ive seen the parliamentary village. The MP's/you have nothing to complain about. The MP's want to stay in the CBD? Frankly, I dont see how they will manage. They have grown quite accustomed to the affluent suburban areas. I dont think the CBD will cater for their 'acquired tastes'. Like I said, the MP's are aware of this, but quite a few of them opted by have government by them houses in affluent areas in the Northern subarbs. Its funny how you are trying to steer the conversation into the ways of 'traveling distances', when quite frankly, half of Cape Town has to deal with those issues. Successfully.

      Hugh - 2012-03-12 13:38

      @Sinudeity, according to SARS, there are only about 150'000 people registered who earn more then R500'000/yr. Go figure.

  • Steve - 2012-03-12 07:43

    agreed - the 6 billion should be paid towards housing the people of southa frica - they need to use their salaries to fund housing of their own or to rent like all other south africans

      yolie.Landa - 2012-03-12 09:24

      These ppl get paid. Why must the tax payers waist their money on them?? On the companies we work for, we get paid and we pay for our own accomodation, same should happen to them

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-03-12 07:59


  • adelec2 - 2012-03-12 08:09

    Ok, seriously? Toll roads, fuel levies....What else? This, ladies and gentlemen is why people immigrate. We are so SICK to OUR FREAKIN STOMACHS of this land and its "wants but no giving".....

      Hugh - 2012-03-12 13:40

      They are giving, 51% of the budget goes to Government grants for people who bring nothing to the Fiscus.

  • Doc - 2012-03-12 08:13

    What happened to the days when being in the civil service was about serving the community and not yourself? I grew up next to the mayor of Pretoria who lived in a middle class neighborhood in a modest house with two cars that were at least ten years old. Now days it is more lucrative than the public sector, you are better off as a minister (or any governmennt position) than a company CEO.

      Richard - 2012-03-12 11:47

      And now you don't even have to perform, in fact, better if you don't!

  • arthurbrigg - 2012-03-12 08:13

    Can't they use their bloated salaries to rent their own houses? WTF are tax payers paying for free accommodation PLUS their salaries PLUS their cars PLUS their travels? Wipe the gravy off your chins you fat pigs, you're making a mess.

      Andrew - 2012-03-12 08:34

      Dont forget they get these houses at a much lower than market price and in all likelyhood get a housing subsidy.

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 09:20

      they not taking ownership of the houses, it is merely for lodging. You certainly have no idea whats going on because this is the second very inaccurate statement you have made, the first being that the housing is not for MPs when in the article it clearly states that it is for MPs.

  • Nigel - 2012-03-12 08:15

    thats why the poor stay poor in SA, 18 years into ANC government & they are raping the country blind, & the masses keep voting for them, simply amazing!!!

  • Ina - 2012-03-12 08:15

    Unbelievable, while there are so many thousands who have to live in the most appalling conditions in the 'informal settlements'! When will sanity and justice return to this poor country?

  • Erich - 2012-03-12 08:16

    Why was the cabinet expanded, the initial gathering of fools was costly enough. It is shocking to notice how these fat cats are embarking on a spending spree in such a manner that I would assume that the state's funds are endless. Six billion is a staggering amount to be spend on the housing of say 40 Ministers. Why can't a minister be paid a housing subsidy of say R3000 per month and an ordinary MP say R2 000 per month. The balance of the R6 billion will enable the State to catch up with the housing backlog for homeless people within a matter of a few years.

      s4turnz - 2012-03-12 09:35

      the housing is for MPs and ministers, do you know how many MPs there are in Parliament?

  • robyn.n.sorsa - 2012-03-12 08:18


  • Wayne - 2012-03-12 08:20

    This is simply outrageous! Each of these persons no doubt owned a home prior to becoming a Minister. Sure, provide accomodation near parlaiment for when parlaiment is in session, and provide funding to beef up security at their private homes but going to the extent that is being proposed is a ridiculous waste of tax payers money.

  • deon.fourie - 2012-03-12 08:23

    Soon they'll probably have to spend about 12 Billion on security and modified tennis ball launchers, are able to fire pieces if cake into the writhing crowds. That's right, keep on spending you slime. Those protests are moving close and closer to your bunkers.

  • Goose - 2012-03-12 08:27

    Amazing, SA has per capita one of the biggest and most bloated governments, yet....they must be close the the worst performing government in the world, next to Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatamala etc.. There is no end to the utter rot and filth of the ANC, it seems!

  • Linda Fisher Weatherall-Thomas - 2012-03-12 08:29

    Wow, South Africa has MONEY??

  • Andrew - 2012-03-12 08:31

    I wonder what all the poor who are waiting for RDP basic housing (some for more than 8 years) would have to say about this spending. Unfortunately they never get this information.

  • Thoka - 2012-03-12 08:32

    This was debated before, as much as we need to refubish our homes once in a while to keep up with Steyns, this has to be done with reasonable costs.

  • Goose - 2012-03-12 08:34

    Did anyone notice how the Greek prime minister has forfeited his salary due to the pathetic performance of the past Greek governments? Can you imagine a black politician ever doing something along the same lines? Definitely no, as they are corrupt to their core's and this is "normal" for them.

      ralph.schminke - 2012-03-12 10:16

      You had to bring race into this .. really ?

  • Goose - 2012-03-12 08:35

    The issue here is that those with the power, need to ensure that the squatter camp dwellers get to hear about this so that they can SEEE their "leaders" raping them.

  • Azmeena - 2012-03-12 09:19

    Really? I mean really? Fine, if that is the way they want it, then lets cut their extravagent salaries to compensate for this disgusting and insulting benefit. A pensioner is unable to pay for their medication with the amount that they are being given yet Members of Parliment need "NEW HOUSES". The South African Government is a complete joke.

  • Rob - 2012-03-12 09:27

    I have two perspectives on this. 1. Privelege in primitive societies is established and maintained by extravagant demonstrations of power and wealth. You don't need to look very hard to find examples in SA. These trappings of power are a fundamental component of the BIG MAN idea. Is it probable that these displays actually increase the support of the ANC rather than the more logical and sensible view that the ANC is not serving its people? 2. It will not stop until the cash-cows can no longer provide, only then will change occur, BUT it seems obvious to me that the change will not be a peacful transition to the DA BUT rather a violent transition to anarchy and eventually radicle despotism such as can be seen in Zim. The key to diverting from this outcome is politically neutral education of voters, what chance?????

  • Sifiso Richard Zulu - 2012-03-12 10:12

    These are the kind of things I don't approve of. And they say the State doesn't have money? There are citizens living in shacks without proper sanitation and basic needs to survive each day. So the people who are suppose to serve us continue living in leverage and the rest of us have to struggle for just to at least have water and light. I really hope our government knows what is means to serve people and be for the people.

  • Richard - 2012-03-12 11:57

    This is another extravagant waste of our countries funds, resources and, more importantly its future. Perhaps we should start a private fund to bus in those who are dying of hunger and starvation, without schools, hospitals, police, and who are forced to live in sub-standard housing - from mud-huts to the pathetic RDP houses, to see just how much their leaders, bloated and greedy, fight for their equality and rights in our free and fair country. Let them see the cars and other excesses! Let them see why they live in abject poverty where noting, including basics such as clean water, exists. I spend my life working with those mentioned above. I see and hold dying babies and children, regularly. I spend time in state hospitals and clinics where pain and suffering, death and lack of care is a daily norm. I see the Gogo's that actually carry this nation abused, misused and starving. I see the growing time-bomb which must one day explode and simultaneously implode, thus causing further decline, poverty and misery to the truly unrepresented masses of lovely, honest, good and down-to-earth people we have in this country... It is truly heart breaking to read these reports daily!

  • Richard - 2012-03-12 11:59

    Why, why, why, can politicians not live in normal houses, drive normal cars, pay normal fees etc? Why do they have to be protected with such security? More for their excesses that any other real reason - can be the only answer. Why can public servants no simply be like the rest of us, instead of pseudo demi-gods? Few if any of them (and us) are so unique and gifted to society that the could not be replaced within a blink of an eye. Why, because the slept at work, ate and traveled excessively must they be paid for life? why should they lead a life of fine living at such great cost to so many. Why should they be paid and often promoted whist on leave for greedy hands in the jar? Does this not discriminate against, Sipho, Rob, Sue (ps, not their real names) or anyone else who makes a private phone call at work and who subsequently gets dismissed. It sickens me to death! Surely, people, its time for us all to leave out all the side issues, the race issues, history and more, and to stand against this sort of thing???

  • billidp - 2012-03-12 12:58

    And by the time the contract is finished it will have cost R60 Billion!How many RDP houses could that build?? How many communities could get the basic services they were promised like electricity and water? Wastage is what the ANC government knows how to do best! SIS!THE ANC GOVERNMENT IS DISGUSTING!!!

  • Julie - 2012-03-12 13:01

    My word - how the times have changed - in the "bad old days of 'apaathite'" MP's, LP's and other officials were satisfied to occupy the houses allocated to them; at the same time none ever drove top-of-the-range German cars or flew with other than the national airline, they were certainly more down-to-earth, and they used to hold report-back meetings in their constituencies to inform their constituents on what was achieved. Oh, and everything also WORKED - and if it didn't WORK, it was FIXED!!! However, the present crop of MP's, LP's and City officials seem to be of the opinion that they are ENTITLED to live like royalty, but forgetting that they do NOT crap gold bricks...

  • Mark - 2012-03-12 13:49

    They are going to continue with this farce - spending taxpayers money on their lifestyles and ignoring the problems they are creating through this wanton expenditure - until it blows up in their faces and nothing we say is going to make the slightest difference. The only way to deal with this is to vote them out of office and if the majority don't want to do that then they deserve what they get. Democracy is a wonderful thing, pity you can't eat it, drive it or live in it though.

  • Silvana - 2012-03-12 14:11

    This is shameful! I want to ask all the pro-ANC readers here:- Didn't the ANC promise to provide more housing for the people? Have they achieved this to the peoples' satisfaction? How many RDP homes could they built for R6 billion? No one gave me free housing. I had to work and make sacrifices to pay off my homeloan, but free housing is what the ANC promised. So I ask you, do you think that spending R6billion is better spent on upgrading their already luxurious lifestyle or should it be spent on keeping their promise to their voters? Viva whoever........

  • schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-12 16:25

    WTF!? And where are these ministers living now that its so terrible that they need 6 billion rands to build them new houses and offices!?!?

  • schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-12 16:57

    I thought the ANC's policy was to build homes for those who did not have any yet!?

  • skootzie - 2012-04-03 11:14

    Why do they believe they are entitled to free housing? It's not like they are contributing to the country or anything.

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