Depts ignore car question - DA

2009-08-31 20:02

Cape Town - Two months after being asked, only half of government's departments have responded to written questions on whether they have bought new ministerial vehicles, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

A total of 18 out of 35 departments had replied, DA Deputy Chief Whip Mike Ellis said in a statement.

There could only be one of two possible reasons for this, Ellis said.

"First, these departments are too disorganised to be able to properly determine whether or not they purchased a new vehicle.

"Certainly one would think a period of two months is time enough to establish such a simple fact.

Indeed, quite how they are unable to do so boggles the mind.

"Or, these ministers have purchased a new ministerial vehicle at great expense to the taxpayer, but - given the public climate at present, one created in large part by the exorbitant purchases made by some of their colleagues - they are waiting for things to die down before responding."

Among the 17 members of the executive who had failed to respond to date were the president and the ministers of health, human settlements, justice and constitutional development, labour, police, public enterprises, water and environmental affairs, transport and tourism.

Of the 18 that had responded, five had bought new vehicles - at a total cost of about R7.3m - while three departments had indicated they were busy procuring vehicles.

Ten departments reported they had not bought new ministerial vehicles, Ellis said.