Ex-presidents' free flights cut

2011-11-25 10:28

Johannesburg - Former presidents and deputy presidents will not be allowed to travel domestically until April next year, The Times reported on Friday.

Due to "serious budgetary constraints" experienced by President Jacob Zuma's office, former president Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk would have their travel and subsistence allowances cut off.

It would also affect former deputy presidents Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Baleka Mbete, according to the report.

The allowances would only resume in the new financial year, which starts in April 2012.

Cost-saving measures

A letter from Zuma's office titled "Benefits of Executive Office" reportedly read: "The presidency is currently experiencing serious budgetary constraints and unfortunately the budget that was allocated to you for travel and subsistence has been exhausted.

"We are therefore not in the position to fund any further flights until 31 March 2012. This benefit will resume with effect 1 April 2012."

According to the daily, Mbeki and De Klerk confirmed they had received the letters notifying them of the temporary cut-offs, but they refused to say how it would affect them.

Mlambo-Ngcuka, who is in the UK, was not aware of the cuts.

Sello Hatang of the Nelson Mandela Foundation said he was not in a position to comment on the matter.

Presidential spokesperson Zanele Mngadi said the cuts were due to the difficult economic climate and staff had been told to reduce expenditure.

"The presidency is also exploring economy class travel for senior managers up to chief director level as part of the cost-saving measures."

Mngadi said all units within the presidency had been informed about cost-cutting measures and had accepted them.

  • Grant - 2011-11-25 10:33

    I have a further recommendation to save costs to the presidency. Restrict the 'Benefits of Executive Office'to only 1 wife and 2.4 children.

      Myancmyfuture - 2011-11-25 10:37

      Now Grant, what about the other 5 wives and 20 kids?

      Deon - 2011-11-25 10:47

      I agree Ex presidents are far more important than current Pres. wifes.

      John - 2011-11-25 10:59

      The other 5 wives and 20 kids can hire a Roadlink bus.

      MoAfrika - 2011-11-25 11:01

      lol...which parent really wants to discriminate any of his/er kids and offer a certain percentage to???

      Foc - 2011-11-25 11:05

      I think the President's Office should rather look at CURRENT wastage in his OWN cabinet instead of trying to save a few bucks on previous office bearers....

      Grant - 2011-11-25 11:15

      @myanc....send them out to get a job and contribute instead of just being a sponge! My wife has to work in order to get the bills paid so why shouldn't they!

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:35

      @John .. whahhaa - why a Roadlink bus? .... I mean .. the ANCYL is happy to walk...

      binarycape - 2011-11-25 17:45

      I have been saying that for some time - I find it obscene that the taxpayer carries the burden of his laaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge family and everything that goes with that! And they can stop talking about celebrating the centenary with taxpayer money, and scale down on the type/level of cars that they use, and why shouldn't they travel economy? Do you know how expensive it is to travel business and 1st class internationally? Go check it out. It would be cheaper to charter a couple of planes annually!

  • coert.welman - 2011-11-25 10:34

    If I go on pension, I am not entitled to any more benefits of the company (apart from the pension fund) anymore. Why should these guys keep on getting and enjoying benefits?

      Dirk - 2011-11-25 10:38

      Entitled to your pension fund? Dont be so sure- the ANC is after that as well according to a report yesterday

      coert.welman - 2011-11-25 10:41

      Hope springs eternal Grant. I am still living in SA after all, which probably makes me a bit of an optimist.

      Marion - 2011-11-25 10:44

      I would think it fair to say that in all 'western' nations the ex presidents/deputies enjoy weird and wonderful benefits so I guess in SA it is not considered a bad thing to model our country on those capitalist imperialist agents when it suits us. Just had a thought. There is a hidden agenda behind these constant changes in presidents... even if they are only in office for a blink of an eye they get fancy benefits... in that way more and more previously disadvantaged get to enjoy the fat life into the future.

      Larry - 2011-11-25 11:17

      True. Why should these guys, who were mostly useless when they were in office, still be treated like Kings. The wastage that is ongoing, will see the bloody lot of them walking, if they don't rein in their wasteful spending.

  • bernpm - 2011-11-25 10:38

    what is (was) the budget? and how much do we save????

      John - 2011-11-25 11:01

      By cutting out the ex-presidents perks, the savings, compared to what the others in the ANC government will spend, is the square root of sod all

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:09

      as in all sods?

  • Piet - 2011-11-25 10:41

    And they plan to buy 2 planes for JZ and the dep. prez......

      Alan - 2011-11-25 10:54

      yeah - and dont forget the multi milions that are going to be wasted on Centenary celebrations next year by the party that has turned it's back on Madiba's vision of equality, growth and prosperity for ALL South Africans. But hey - whilst everything is crumbling around the ANC, it's important to make a token gesture of ex-president's travel allowances. Meanwhile Jacobs €Presidential Palace" renovations and go ahead.... I suppose the bathrooms wil also be equipped with new showerheads?

      Marion - 2011-11-25 11:00

      How far back was it that a presidential jet was purchased for Mbeki? Why is that not suitable. Hand the Mbeki jet down to KM if he needs his own jet and buy Zuma and his entourage (aka his family) a new jet, but TWO new jets? Commercial airlines use the same planes forever and they fly on a daily basis.

  • Piet - 2011-11-25 10:42

    Eish Poor sods! But the presidency do not mind to spend 1.6 billion on two new planes! At R50 000 per ticket you can buy 32000 airline tickets.....

  • kimonpaxinos - 2011-11-25 10:53

    R400 million presidential residence upgrade and two long range presidential jets of over a R1billion can make a serious dent in anyone's budget?! All of this is squandering of public funds by political prodigals.

  • Stuka - 2011-11-25 10:54

    Ja de Klerk kan maar verniet vlieg..solank dit in sy moer in is die d##s

      chris.debeer1 - 2011-11-25 11:44


  • JudithNkwe - 2011-11-25 11:08

    Given our country's finances, all ministers and parliamentarians should travel economy class on SAA and pay for themselves.

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:12

      I would rater see them on Air Timbuktu. One way tickets provided.

      Impi - 2011-11-25 11:20

      @Alan. Get yourself one of those tickets as well. Your comments and attitude are as bad as the Malema morons.

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:25

      Yeah Impi - just because I choose not to accept corruption? Some might call it integrity, some might call it forward thinking....

  • Impi - 2011-11-25 11:09

    When I read these comments on here, I can just shake my head in shame. The ANC won't ever get even the smallest recognition if they are willing to change their ways. Not even a report like this, that gives us a glimmer hope that at last they are beginning to see being in power isn't about spending the tax payers money, will get whites to be positive. Is the race hatred fuelled by just blacks? I doubt it. If you want change, then first change your attitude!

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:14

      Oh get real .... this is just another stupid little token gesture which is a pathetic attempts at a smokescreen.

      Shirley - 2011-11-25 11:34

      Change their ways????? Note its the EX presidents who have to cut back whilst the current one and all his entourage continue spending willy nilly! Oh and how do you know that its only whites who feel this is a joke??? Dont start on your pitiful race card again!!!!!

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:42

      well pointed out Shirley!

      Impi - 2011-11-25 11:45

      @Shirley. You are probably one of the uneducated whites that couldn't run anywhere. I have read your comments on here and if you had a brain, you would have realised by now that comments like yours will do nothing to sway a Malema follower in the right direction or convince the ANC government that their ways are leading to destruction. If you are a South African that cares about the future of this country change your attitude or join the rest of the rats that fled the sinking ship. I'm trying to save the sinking ship if you haven't noticed!

      Deon - 2011-11-25 12:11

      Rather change your vote for change, before we become another 1 party state.

      Impi - 2011-11-25 12:27

      @Deon. Please read my comment and then read between the lines and then you decide who I am voting for. We are dealing with a threatened mass of people that will vote ANC irrespective of what is going on. Only ANC because they never want to be slaves again. They don't understand how democracy works and that is what has kept Mugabe in power all these years. All had to do is tell his voters the whites will take their land again, and Bob's your Uncle, he has got them in his pocket to continue his raid of the state coffers.

      Piet - 2011-11-25 12:42

      You will always be a slave, it is just your master that Changes....

      Impi - 2011-11-25 12:58

      @Piet. A slave to who? I am free because I studied. I might even be your boss. I could get on a plane and go work anywhere in the world and contribute to any company's success. Can you? Just because I'm black doesn't mean I will be washing your car forever. I did wash the white people's cars to pay for my into that whatever floats your boat!

  • MoAfrika - 2011-11-25 11:09

    ok that i hear, but then if they pai their flight will the government still pay their accommodation and travel allowance excluding flights of-course, I think there is a gap here...they need to go back and be specific on what exactly are they not funding them about if they drove in luxurious cars, each requiring private security each in a mini convoy? (not forgetting that the securities also will be driving those expensive cars and need accommodation ahead? Clarity please.

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:14

      you mean - Blue Light mini convoys.....

  • See - 2011-11-25 11:17

    Although they steal everything and are 100% corrupt and therefore always will have budgetary constraints, I think it's just part of Zuma's strategy of showing EVERYBODY who's the boss man now. He has been doing an awful lot of it the past few weeks.

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:20

      he has been doing an AWFUL LOT ever since Mbeki was kicked off the Gravytrain. (see Leaonard - you can still say something).

  • Juan - 2011-11-25 11:17

    Why allow free airline travel for ex persidents at all? waste of money

  • Julie - 2011-11-25 11:17

    They can all jump on Zuma"s plane...........

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:26

      nah - he has a Gravy Train

  • Andrew - 2011-11-25 11:22

    How about cutting out the R1.6 billion aircraft as well. This would make a noticable difference!

  • trompie1 - 2011-11-25 11:23

    SO dat dem WIVES can TRAVELLLL.....

  • justin.pretorius - 2011-11-25 11:30

    Ex-presidents have served their purpose and do not require free tickets. They also don't need protection either as they are no longer in office

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:32

      Please note - this only refers to domestic travel.

  • Shirley - 2011-11-25 11:30

    The gravy is running dry! All the money went to the minister who had to hire a plane because she refused to have her luggage searched! Zumas wives alone take quater of the budget. Budget constraints my foot! Stop all the lavish lunches,parties,cars,housing revamps and the rest of the wasteful spending!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Alan - 2011-11-25 11:33

      spot on

      Marion - 2011-11-25 11:35

      It is beyond budget constraints... the budget is exhausted... well, that particular one anyway... wonder who exhausted it and why...

  • Bokfan - 2011-11-25 11:43

    "Exploring economy class flights" Whats to explore. Just implement. Boneheads

  • Shirley - 2011-11-25 12:41

    Impi: All you do on this site is bash white people with the same repetitive comments over and over. It is because of people like you that try as one may the racial devide grows bigger by the day. Stop looking at the colour but the ACTIONS of the people. Sorry to dissapoint but I do have an education,[one I am personally proud of as I obtained 2 degrees very late in life,working 2 jobs and raising 2 kids alone. Not that it is any of your buisness. You on the other hand are a bitter racist who will continue to spout his anti white venom for the next 100 years.

  • treatwell - 2011-11-25 12:42

    Ministers driving cars worth R900 000 that's why your in budget constraints

  • Bob - 2011-11-25 13:35

    Penny wise, fkcuign pound foolish.....P a t h e t i c !

  • Masiagwala Alilali Allie - 2011-11-25 14:16

    lol zuma stole all the money,its hard supporting 20 kids n dozen girlfriends n wives

  • Nitesh - 2011-11-25 17:58

    they need to save up for the 400 million rand party with zuma's 20+ wifes & 100 kids.....eish

      Shirley - 2011-11-25 18:17

      They should just ask Mac for a loan!

  • Zee - 2011-11-25 19:15

    they dont even have to travel...they can sit in those leather chairs and skype one another.

  • eradingoana - 2011-11-26 08:45

    Hei now the polygamy of Zuma affect the ex-presidents. They also have to contribute to the bulk of Zuma 's wives. Hopefully he wont be like king zwelithini in the coming years bcoz life would be hell in south africa.

  • guy.goes1 - 2011-11-26 10:01

    All persons in government employ from the president down should have budgets,irrespective how many dependents. I have to plan to live within my income, why is that at once so different when you are a government official.

  • Winsome - 2011-11-26 10:24

    Yes, let them travel economy class on SAA - then maybe, just maybe, standards on these flights will improve!

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