Supplementary Budget 2020

Cabinet members posting pics of themselves flying economy class is now a thing

One would be hard-pressed to find two South African Cabinet ministers who love engaging on Twitter more than Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni and Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula.

On Friday morning, Mbalula took to the social media site to inform his Cabinet colleague that he agreed with the minister's call MPs to fly economy class.

Mboweni, who has posted images of himself flying economy, told a joint meeting of three Parliamentary committees on Thursday afternoon that ministers and MPs should follow his example in containing costs, if only to demonstrate to taxpayers that government was committed to spending revenues more responsibly

His briefing to MPs came after he tabled the 2020 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday, where he announced plans of major cuts to the public service wage bill over three years in an effort to reduce SA's deficit. Treasury has proposed cuts of to R37.8 billion in 2020/21, R54.9 billion in 2021/22 and R67.5 billion in 2022/23. The announcement angered unions, with Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi telling reporters Mboweni's sudden announcement undermined the collective bargaining process.

Mboweni initially announced the new rule of flying economy class in his mid-term budget in October 2019. Minister for Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu, made it official in December last year. Cabinet ministers and their spouses travelling by air must travel in economy class for all official domestic travel, as well as for international travel where the travel time is less than two hours

In the tweet, Mbalula shared an image of himself on a South African Airways flight.

MPs agreed with Mboweni's call during his meeting with the joint committee on Thursday, but stressed that government should improve SAA's operations such that it provides a cost advantage to travelers.

SAA, which was placed under business rescue in December, earlier in February announced the cancellation of all its domestic routes apart from the popular Cape Town - Johannesburg flight in an effort to save costs. 

The airline tweeted its thanks to Mbalula on Friday. 

- Additional reporting by Jan Cronje
ZAR/USD
16.94
(+0.49)
ZAR/GBP
21.16
(+0.41)
ZAR/EUR
19.06
(+0.63)
ZAR/AUD
11.73
(+0.43)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.68)
Gold
1778.30
(+0.61)
Silver
18.04
(+0.41)
Platinum
806.51
(-1.31)
Brent Crude
42.09
(+1.84)
Palladium
1904.00
(+0.39)
All Share
54617.19
(+1.54)
Top 40
50309.77
(+1.49)
Financial 15
10214.89
(+2.12)
Industrial 25
76156.33
(+1.23)
Resource 10
50768.18
(+1.58)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1538 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2000 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3003 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2182 votes
Vote