First class Source: Google Images

Government plans to revise the current ministerial handbook to curb wasteful expenditure.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, public service & administration minister, Ayanda Dlodlo, said that under the revised rules, ministers will be barred from flying first class and taking their spouses on unlimited international trips.

She added that cabinet ministers and their deputies will no longer be allowed to splurge on luxury cars such as Porsches and Mercedes-Benz S-class’ with National Treasury now in charge of buying vehicles for all ministers, their deputies, MECs and provincial premiers.

According to a May 2018 report released by the DA, South Africa’s ministerial cabinet is one of the largest in the world with 35 ministers – far bigger than the United States at 15 ministers, Kenya with 18 ministers and the United Kingdom with 21 ministers.

In addition to salaries, the DA said that the current cabinet had overspent on housing and vehicles.

“The Department of Public Works has a specific division called the ‘Prestige Portfolio’ that manages the accommodation for the Presidency, ministers, deputy ministers and other VIPs,” it said.

“The Department spent over R188 million on acquiring just 33 properties in Pretoria and Cape Town at a staggering average of R5.7 million per residence.”

The party also called for a clampdown on vehicle spending which it said was promoted by the current ministerial handbook.

“If the National Handbook provisions are considered with the current bloated cabinet in mind and accepting that two official vehicles are allowed (in Cape Town and Pretoria), ministers and deputy ministers are permitted to spend as much as R3.5 million and R2.9 million, respectively.

“Thus, the National Handbook provisions allow for a total spend of R229 million on luxury cars,” it said.