State-funded luxury 'not morally justifiable'

2011-08-24 20:28

Cape Town - The ministerial handbook used at national level permits a level of state-funded luxury for ministers that is not morally justifiable, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Athol Trollip said on Wednesday.

"Government spin doctor Jimmy Manyi's accusation that the DA's exposé of government's R183m spending spree on mansions for [Cabinet] ministers was a barefaced move to embarrass the executive, misses the point entirely," he said in a statement.

"It is not the DA's questions that are embarrassing, but the government's answers that embarrass the executive."

Manyi's attempts to justify "this splurge" on the grounds that it adhered to supply chain management processes and was permitted by the ministerial handbook rang hollow when so many South Africans continued to live in poverty.

Spending money that could have been used to build 2 000 RDP houses on 34 new ministerial mansions was "just plain wrong whatever the ministerial handbook says".

"The fact is that the ministerial handbook, used at national level, permits a level of state-funded luxury for ministers that is not morally justifiable.

"This is precisely why the DA government in the Western Cape produced its own handbook with stringent regulations to limit this kind of expenditure," Trollip said.

It was clear that the national ministerial handbook needed to change.

‘Spending spree continues unabated’

Otherwise, the excuse would always be "because the handbook says we can".

Faced with a public outcry over spending on luxury cars for ministers, the government made a big noise in 2009 about amending the handbook.

Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi promised it would be done, certainly before the World Cup. In April this year, he said it would be completed "soon, very soon".

"So where is it? No amendments have been made and the spending spree continues unabated," Trollip said.

Since Baloyi promised to change the handbook, the DA calculated that R693m had been spent on luxury cars, perks for the president's spouses, and buying and decorating ministerial houses.

"No wonder there is no rush to produce a new ministerial handbook," he said.

On Tuesday, Manyi said the latest attempt to focus attention on ministerial housing was a "barefaced move" to embarrass the executive.

The government had indicated in 2009 that it planned to buy and upgrade housing for ministers, members of Parliament, and top government officials, he said.

At the time, R150m had been earmarked as planned spending on ministerial housing in line with the government's budgetary and supply chain management process.

The increase in spending on ministerial housing was "dictated by the reconfiguration of the national executive".

Six new Cabinet positions were created in May 2009 and 17 new deputy ministers appointed in October 2010 to ensure "maximum performance" of the executive.

"There is nothing wrong in ministers and deputy ministers having two residences [one paid for by the state and another by themselves] as currently regulated by the existing ministerial handbook," Manyi said.

  • Mark Fysh - 2011-08-24 20:38

    South Africa (Pty)LTD Directors: ANC Auditors: ANC

      cliffarc - 2011-08-25 01:29

      - Funding by : exploited taxpayers - who are p1ssed off at all this wasteful,extravagant,self- indulgent profligacy. This Anc govt, is depraved and deplorable.

      Netherlands - 2011-08-25 08:31

      Yep!!!! South Africa is being run LIKE A FAMILY BUSINESS!!!! Where the ANC ELITE and IMMEDIATE FAMILY, get ALL THE TENDERS.... NOW THEY LIVE LIKE ROYALTY!!!!!!!

      Met - 2011-08-25 09:25

      "Maximum Performance" HaHaHa Bhawa Bhawa Heee Heee And I thought that we had dominion over animals

      Kishore Doodnath - 2011-08-25 19:02

      Next time there is a service delivery protest, Jimmy should go explain about the strict compliance the ministers are exercising re the ministerial handbooks on cars and houses and travel. I am sure the crowds will understand and calm down.

  • semaj - 2011-08-24 20:42

    And, is there a perks tax on the state house? I somehow think not.

      hvklein - 2011-08-24 21:21

      Semaj - Is there a tax on anything when it comes to members of government. To use the handbook as a guideline is ridiculous, because most members of government will only be able to make heads or tails of it, if it has pictures in it!

  • TamaraSays - 2011-08-24 20:57


      THE.SRG - 2011-08-24 21:12

      but what will be done?

  • roboman1 - 2011-08-24 20:59

    We need a wealth tax here, I as a whitey will gladly contribute, but so must all these instantly wealthy darkies, especially the the government sinister ministers. It is true that this spend is not justifiable when there are just so many poor, 60% plus living on less than R600 a month. No it is a shame that the ANC spend this money like this, a disgrace actually

      cliffarc - 2011-08-25 01:44

      - Wealth tax my @rse. With all these daily revelations of corruption and squandering of taxpayers money, I aint paying squat.

      chan chan - 2011-08-25 09:19

      there are more than enough taxes being paid to government, these ANC idiots are just stealing the money, if our government was not so corrupt south africa would be a great place, im so sick of hearing how us tax payers are getting screwed left right and center, something really needs to be done about this, we need a new government !!!

  • maseratifitt - 2011-08-24 21:00

    I always wondered about this handbook. Who are the authors? This handbook should be available to the public and should be in every library in the country. It should be open to debate and review by academics, students, trade unions, NGO's, the Media and the general public.

      Angel - 2011-08-25 06:31

      Angel - 2011-08-25 06:34

      As with all documents submitted to the Cabinet, the handbook was classified when it was submitted to the Cabinet for approval in February 2007.

      Dominic - 2011-08-25 08:47

      Thanks @Angel - fascinating stuff within the first few pages like Chapter 1 - Executive ethics code: 2.3. Members may not: c. use their position or any information entrusted to them, to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person; f. receive remuneration for any work or service other than for the performance of their functions as Members;

      The Wonderer - 2011-08-25 11:40

      @ Angel, Reading this (b & c) I thought, oh dear, they are in breach of conduct, thinking, there are corrupt members of the ANC who do NOT fulfil their duties and fail according to b & c... b. fulfil all the obligations imposed upon them by the Constitution and law; c. act in good faith and in the best interest of good governance; and BUT, THEN (d) followed and I realised ok, those corrupt officials are acting in a manner which IS "consistent" with the "integrity of the ANC... d. act in all respects in a manner that is consistent with the integrity of their office or the government. Go figure...

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-24 21:06

    So,the corrupt ANC's ranks keeps on swelling. Besides being incompetent and unable to control the runts of their litter,greed comes natural to them. Trust the comrades to load their pockets in financial difficult times! thick as thieves!

      johan - 2011-08-24 22:04


      Craigr - 2011-08-25 09:07

      Whitie's would not understand 'cos it is an "African thing". Zuma and Co. is doing the same as "Mugabe", "Brother leader" etc.

  • semaj - 2011-08-24 21:10

    Further question, if there is a deemed value to be applied to the occupancy of a state house (which of course taxation would be based upon, how much is it per tax year?

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-24 21:15

    Question ; where is the little racist Tutu now? Moving into a new house perhaps?

  • Wishbone - 2011-08-24 21:17

    The statement: "R183m spending spree on mansions for [Cabinet] ministers was a barefaced move to embarrass the executive" is partly true - the government is an embarrassment to all that is just and moral.

      PB - 2011-08-25 08:09

      Manyi, the only "embarrasment" is YOU GUYS. You need no help in that regard - you have National Colours in putting your foot into the dwang.

  • beicime - 2011-08-24 21:21

    Haven't you heard... "F*** the poor" These leaders accommodate themelves, don't know how to make a country work and so they have a geat life.

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-08-24 21:21

    The ANC HAVE missed the point completely as have many countries in Africa. While African politicians live it up as indicated in this article, the rest of the population barely get by or starve to death. The United Nations Food Program sponsors 41 counties in Africa. Just goes to show how many banana republics there are. No wonder the AU made no impression on anyone when trying to broker peace in Libya. What happened to Gaddafi should be the fate of all greedy pigs. I am waiting for Mugabe to have his day.

      croix - 2011-08-25 05:41

      1,000 Thumbs up for you - you summed it up perfectly. Africa actually equals "The Banana Continent". I too, cannot wait for Mug-ape to face charges of GENOCIDE (and looting) in the Hague!

      Kevin - 2011-08-25 07:12

      The AU handled Zim and look at the catastrophe. These thick heads are now challenging UN intervention in Libya. AU supports tyranny and dictatorship and should be called a bad organisation by the UN and there should be world consequences for the disgusting decisions these political light weights take.

      Kenpachi - 2011-08-25 07:49

      Pssssssssstttt did you hear anything from the trolls,..They seem to be sleeping when cadres steal.

      Wonderboy - 2011-08-25 07:56

      The UN should actually invoke the voting powers of countries that mismanage their people but that would not be possible as all these banana votes constitute the UN. Imagine, India and Germany have the same voting power as has Swaziland. Incredible this thing they call democracy. (one country, one vote, one man, one vote)

      Craigr - 2011-08-25 09:26

      ... and now SA is stopping the Security Council releasing funds to Lybia. To the World we all look like currupt idiots, meanwhile it is just the corrupt elite in their glass house's flexing muscules and acting self-righteous. The common folk have smpathy Lybian's but are to busy making ends meet and contributing to the "Bottomless" Tax basket.

  • Ex-employer - 2011-08-24 21:23

    This handbook that the ANC keep refering to only has one page with the words "You joined the struggle not to be poor, so take, and to hell with the voters, we only need them every five years and anyhow ,they to stupid to enjoy the good life. Good luck and try not to be caught with you hands in the cookie jar because you don't always knowwho is a DA spy."

  • Ex-employer - 2011-08-24 21:26

    When the ANC falls, the sound will be heard half way around the world.

      maseratifitt - 2011-08-25 07:27

      Nonsense ! I hear this sound every morning, and then I just pull the chain. Nobody even notices.

      Netherlands - 2011-08-25 08:35

      YEAH...... I push out a "MALEMA" every morning... and also flush afterwards!

      Dominic - 2011-08-25 09:11

      Classic @maseratfitt :)

      tut - 2011-08-25 10:21

      And so will the stench.

      edalsg - 2011-08-25 18:07

      Maybe NATO should sort the ANC out as well . Meanwhile DONT PAY TAX . Think carefully --it can be achieved .

  • beicime - 2011-08-24 21:30

    Have you noticed on TV reports how IMMACULATELY clean Libyan hospitals are? Have you noticed the perception of EFFICIENCY you grasp? Our dirty and inefficient hospitals would be like those if members of government were not allowed any other place to receive medical treatment.

      AgentM - 2011-08-25 06:54

      ...And now the state is building a massive state-of-the-art hospital in Pretoria with taxpayers NHI money that is for the EXCLUSIVE use of ministers and their families etc... none of them will even step foot in a real state hospital.

      Craigr - 2011-08-25 09:34

      A goverment Hospital is for the plebs. A Minister would not be caught dead going to a place like that.

  • Harambe - 2011-08-24 21:31

    Appalling revelations on how they and their cronies are living it up living us in abject poverty with all BEE/AA fallacy. How 'bout the words, "A better life for all", do they ring any bells? g us in abject poverty with all BEE/AA fallacy. How 'bout the words, "A better life for all", do they ring any bells?

      Sven - 2011-08-24 21:38

      They just left out the rest of the sentence which reads "for all anc politicians ONLY"

  • BryanJhb - 2011-08-24 21:43

    So what does Gordhan say now?

      Anonymus - 2011-08-24 22:16


      maseratifitt - 2011-08-25 07:31

      Just makes a few notes for his next budget speech where the ANC is again applauded. Remember Manuel's "all human life has equal value" - ad nauseum - speech ? The gravy train just keeps rolling along...

  • To The Point - 2011-08-24 21:52

    Are these thieves public servants or not? Since when has public servants become the royalty of the nation – can only happen in Africa. This government is a disgrace to all south Africans especially the blacks who live in worse poverty than before independence. The majority still have no running water, sanitation, permanent homes or jobs. But then these are the people who keep voting these idiots to govern them. So the question, should one feel sorry for the losers or not? It is like a scene from Planet of the Apes where the intelligent and so called developed people step down allowing the country to be governed by ape like creatures with no intelligence and very little commonsense.

      John Wilderness - 2011-08-26 08:54

      @To-The-Point - I'm glad that you use the words "still have no" which means that those service never existed thanks to the SA whites who also kept voting an idiotic government to power. The irony of it all is that they are the first to complain considering they laid the foundation to the current turmoil and mess.

  • Julian - 2011-08-25 07:45

    "It is not the DA's questions that are embarrassing, but the government's answers that embarrass the executive." FTMFW!

  • Stephan Janse van Vuuren - 2011-08-25 08:27

    It is not state funded, it is funded by tax payers.

  • izzy - 2011-08-25 08:30

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GOVERNMENT STEALING FROM THE POOR..... ai really ill keep on voting for DA...

  • MSGRule - 2011-08-25 08:39

    Communism is a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian government dominated by ONE political party (the communist party of China, for instance). It's mostly intended to make sure all people are equal, no matter what their job or position is. Everyone has the same opportunities, etc. It is a GOOD idea, however, that's all it is 'an idea'. There is no way a government can run where all are equal because at some point someone wants to be in charge and above everyone else. It is a self-defeating system.

  • mSholozi - 2011-08-25 08:40

    what is rong with our leaders wanting to rest nicely after their hard work?

      Stephan Janse van Vuuren - 2011-08-25 08:54

      They are doing it at the expense of the poor en infrastructure maintenance. And "hard work" is quite debatable.

      VELOCITY - 2011-08-25 09:39

      Hard work? Ha! That is so "rong".

      maneki - 2011-08-25 09:47

      Oh so you don't mind then that you and your family that has nothing actually pays for them to rest so nicely??? I don't think people understand where this money that they squander comes from. You pay for it mSholozi. Every year when they up that little percentage of tax you have to pay, meaning at payday the payout you get gets less and less, THAT is the money they use. You pay for this luxury. But then again, perhaps you do not work hard enough like you say they do, so perhaps you do not deserve luxury...

  • Juliarse - 2011-08-25 08:48

    Six new Cabinet positions were created in May 2009 and 17 new deputy ministers appointed in October 2010 to ensure "maximum performance" of the executive. ... And how is that going Manyi? What performance? A 60 yr old whore's c*nt performs better than you lot.

  • Dayat Atime - 2011-08-25 09:29

    So they live in the better of the two houses and rent the other out to supplement their already large incomes...buh-rill-i-ant...

  • Obama - 2011-08-25 10:00

    Its funny, cos the previous apartheid regime stayed in similar houses, if not bigger. They were driven in convoys, with bodyguards all around them. And I bet you, there wasn't any outcry about it all. White folks embraced it, cause it was done by their own. And now because its done by a Black Government, some r calling it deplorable, disgusting blah blah blah... Hypocrites!! The previous regime embezzled more money than we can ever account for. And once again, there was no outcry. White folks need to stop being hypocrites, just bcos the tides have turned against them now. Its sad really...

      tut - 2011-08-25 10:22

      So its ok to do it because its a black Government now? Hypocrite.

      Rev. H-Cubed - 2011-08-25 10:26

      Obama, so, what you are saying is the ANC did not want to defeat the immoral regime, they wanted to BE the immoral regime. Seems to fit the facts, you may be right.

      Obama - 2011-08-25 10:38

      All I'm saying is that none of you were complaining and moaning when the previous regime was doing the same thing. Which says to me, u were fine with it. So why r u complaining now??? That's all I'm questioning... And pls, some1 tell me whats wrong with government building ministers houses, cause those houses belong to the state and not individuals? Same way as the Presidential house is owned and looked after by the State. And once again, this was the norm during the previous regime and none of you complained!! Its just funny...

      Julian - 2011-08-25 11:48

      Obama: citation needed.

      Rev. H-Cubed - 2011-08-25 13:10

      Obama, when you say "none of you were complaining" you are quite simply completely wrong. It may not suit you to acknowledge the contribution made by citizens of all races to the downfall of apartheid, but history records that contribution as fact. We complained as vocally then as we do now, and when we had the first realistic opportunity to effect change, over 60% of us took the opportunity and voted them out.

      John Wilderness - 2011-08-26 09:14

      Rev. H-Cubed - So why did it take you more than 40 years to vote them out ? Or was that your backs were to the wall when you voted "yes" ?

      John Wilderness - 2011-08-26 09:16

      Spot on Obama. You will also notice that the complaining has more to do with taking the opportunity kick blacks rather than hilighting corruption, government ineffeciency and all the things they regularly mouth off about.

      Rev. H-Cubed - 2011-08-26 10:21

      John, have a look at how the representation in parliament was controlled by the Nats, through malapportionment and gerrymandering. Once it came down to a referendum, those mechanisms could not affect the outcome. Of course there were many who did support apartheid, but that does not translate to "none of you complained", which was the statement I was addressing. So, as a matter of interest, what was your contribution to overthrowing apartheid?

  • Blade123 - 2011-08-25 10:48

    It is easy to say that all the tenders go to the ANC family members, but whenever I go to briefing sessions for tenders I see the majority of people there are actually "Whites". So are the few "Black" people that win tenders the only ones benefitting? The answer is no, "White" companies seem to have these so called BEE certification but the strange thing is that you never see these black people in the company. This tells me that the majority of ppl benefiting is still "White" There is so much attention on the minority wealthy "Blacks" that benefit from govt. work that majority of "Whites" go unnoticed. As I said earlier THE WHITES BENEFIT PLENTY MUCH MORE THAT THE BLACKS DO>

  • JadedJay - 2011-08-25 12:36

    'not morally justifiable' Lmao...the ANC government does NOT HAVE ANY MORALS.

  • Vince York - 2011-08-25 14:29

    Gravy trains pour out of books?, handbooks to boot? Slush Fund Feeding Frenzy Troughs is the proper word for it in any respectable Orwellian Animal Farm.

  • Werner - 2011-08-25 14:57

    join my group on facebook - Public Protection Union, I like all of you are looking for a way to take a stand and make the Government listen, the only way to make a difference is if we turn up in the masses and refuse to pay toll fees, refuse to pay rates and taxes, refuse to pay paye taxes, refuse to fund their lavish lifestyles and make it clear that we want the media to have the required freedom to inform us about their antics. Join my facebook group - PUBLIC PROTECTION UNION -

  • AllHoliday - 2011-08-25 15:01

    Will someone please inform Eric Miyeni a freelance journalist who said in a letter to the ANC that after 17 years many black South Africans are worse off today than what they were under apartheid because the ANC favours whites. What a joke! Here he can see clearly why all South Africans are worse off. The reason is because the government enrich themselves at the cost of the nation. They surely should be embarresed for living so luxeriously on tax payers money, while people are unemployed and going hungry and living in inhumane conditions. Using the ministeral handbook as an excuse is even worse. Who wrote the handbook?? "Since Baloyi promised to change the handbook, the DA calculated that R693m had been spent on luxury cars, perks for the president's spouses, and buying and decorating ministerial houses." Anything to say on this, Miyeni?

  • Kevin King - 2011-08-25 15:45

    Can you smell the trolls? Of course not! They cannot justify this either!

  • maggielou - 2011-08-25 19:35

    We HAVE to do something! Transnet execs get 60+ million budgeted for bonuses whilst their pensioners (including retired SAA crew) have been receiving 2% increase (way below inflation) for the past 12 years and are now reaching rock bottom. These thugs are robbing us blind. Where can I find out what they earn and what their perks are?

  • michael.e.bowery - 2011-08-25 20:12

    And the looting goes on!

  • ex optimist - 2011-08-25 22:42

    I am sure the 2000 voters that could have been housed are just overjoyed that the ministerial handbook ok's the high life of their civil 'serpents'

  • Eutopia - 2011-08-25 22:52

    Amazing how a noble cause has turned into the circus it is now. Old "freedom fighters" are now living in poverty while the young and ignorant Juliu-asses are living it up.

  • ex optimist - 2011-08-25 22:54

    R180,000,000/34 = R5,382,352 per Ministerial House vs R90,000 for a RDP house. Great to see my tax money at work!

  • TheUgly - 2011-08-26 08:33

    Somebody needs to shoot somebody.

  • denlyn - 2011-08-26 08:34

    Well done DA. If the executive needs embarrasing then so be it. It is scandolous they way they spend in the face of poverty stricken majority.

  • Lee - 2011-08-26 09:25

    and they claim there's no money for cleaning up the hospitals and sorting out the education system - keep wasting more millions on trying out new "systems" - too proud to take counsel from countries where things WORK. This profligate "government" is such a sad state of affairs while starvation and homelessness grow - let's say 'fiddling while Rome burns'.

  • Fred Marais - 2011-08-26 09:35

    Wonder if we will ever get a president with some moral fibre and backbone, to make a stand and bring some sanity to the ruling party ? Disgraceful, but until the masses are educated and can make an informed vote, nothing will change.

  • wisegirl - 2011-08-26 11:12

    sick and tired of being robbed blind, where will it end?

  • dgee - 2011-08-26 11:23

    Isntit amazing how they cant ringfence money for roads but they manage just fine with cars and mansions!! Budgets -what Budgets?

  • Enockay - 2011-08-26 14:09

    what a waste...but then again let's not pretend like if the DA was in power...they wouldnt be doing the same...ANC and DA are all the same...just that DA is a white party and ANC is a black party...and people vote accordingly...

  • Jou - 2011-08-26 14:16


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