'It's unacceptable that government officials pay R75 for luxury apartments'
On Wednesday, the Department of Public Works briefed the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on the maintenance of ministerial houses and luxury apartments used by senior government officials.
It was revealed that some directors general pay as little as R75 a month to stay in luxury apartments when on official duty in Cape Town.
MP and IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says the issue of these luxury apartments came to light when it was reported that there were braai areas built on these premises to the tune of R150 000 each.
He says that's when MPs started raising concerns.
It was at that point that we wanted a briefing in terms of the department’s prestige portfolio, and of course, what had come out in the past two meetings was shocking.Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP National Spokesperson
Directors general in Cape Town pay as little as R75, Members of Parliament pay R207, deputy ministers R900 and ministers pay R1200.Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP National Spokesperson
And that was of a concern to us especially when raised the concern about the main prestige because in itself it dictates that you want to do things luxuriously.Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP National Spokesperson
Another concern, says Hlengwa was the discovery that the Public Works Department has a contract with a maintenance company to the tune of R312 million.
He says this is for maintaining the houses, changing of light bulbs, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and landscaping.
He adds that the money is paid to a private company and the department is saying there are no artisans with those skills that it could employ.
We've got 9.5 million unemployed people in South Africa which could've been easily trained in these skills.Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP National Spokesperson
So the entire portfolio is a mess and it is now under review and the department claims they would've completed the review by the end of the term and instituted new measures.Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP National Spokesperson
Hlengwa says it is unacceptable that Parliamentarians are paying that much at the expense of the taxpayers.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Mkhuleko Hlengwa, listen below:
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