R22.5m for VVIP flights: Defence dept overspends budget

2017-11-28 20:37
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (AFP)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (AFP)

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Cape Town – The Department of Defence has overspent on VVIP flights by R22.5m since 2015, a parliamentary reply has revealed.

DA defence and military veterans spokesperson Kobus Marais submitted questions to Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, asking how much she had budgeted for VIP flights in the last three financial years.

Marais also asked how much of that budget had been spent.

In addition, the DA wanted to know how many VIP flights the department had taken since April 1, 2017, and the cost of each flight.

In her reply, Mapisa-Nqakula used the term "VVIP charter flights".

She revealed that the department overshot its R26.8m budget and spent more than R61m in the 2016/17 financial year.

Money wasted on 'luxuries for the political elite'

The department underspent its budget for the 2015/16 financial year, while it was still within its budget for VVIP charter flights for the 2017/18 financial year with there having been 10 flights for very, very, important people.

The most expensive flight cost the department more than R6.6m, followed by a R4.6m flight.

It is not clear who was flying and where they were headed.

The reply showed that the department had overspent by R22.5m over three financial years.

The DA said it would ask further parliamentary questions to determine exactly which VVIPs were transported, whether or not they were on official business and who accompanied them.

"This is what happens when President Jacob Zuma refuses to fly on the perfectly functional presidential jet, Inkwazi."

Marais said the government could have used the money to build toilets and RDP homes for poor communities.

"The DA will not sit idly while the ANC continues to waste money on luxuries for the political elite at the expense of millions of South Africans who are forced to survive without the most basic of services," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  nosiviwe maphisa-nqakula

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