Manyi slates housing report

2011-08-23 17:46

Cape Town - The latest attempt to focus attention on ministerial housing is a "barefaced move" to embarrass the executive, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Tuesday.

He was responding to media reports that taxpayers had to fork out R183m for 34 new VIP homes since President Jacob Zuma extended his Cabinet.

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

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.

"Attempts to now compare the trend in austerity measures around the world today are mischievous; at the time spending allocated to ministerial housing had been developed in line with available resources and requirements."

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, Manyi said.

The work and travel of ministers and deputy ministers required housing in Cape Town and Pretoria. The government paid for the official residence in one of the two cities.

"It must be reiterated that ministerial houses do not belong to the ministers and deputy ministers," he said.

"They are only available to them during their tenure and remain assets of the state and therefore of the people of South Africa."

Investment into these properties would also be for the use of future ministers and deputy ministers. Their security arrangements were in line with world practice.

"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.

"There is currently a review of the ministerial handbook which regulates benefits and privileges of members of the executive authority, and attempts to project the executive as insensitive are at best opportunistic and at worst disingenuous," Manyi said. 

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-08-23 17:52

    Hahaha, he is doing a great job at embarrassing himself!

  • Wendy - 2011-08-23 17:58

    It is great that we fought for decades for accountable, transparent government and, in this particular case, we have it. Whether the reports that we receive are embarrassing to government or not is almost immaterial.... the availability of the truth is paramount for us to make judgements about where to place our votes next time.

  • Clive - 2011-08-23 18:08

    When it comes to embarrassment, the government needs no help from anyone: it is continually embarrassing itself by its own deeds and words, including those of Manyi.

  • Pencilgraffiti - 2011-08-23 18:08

    Well let's say eveything Manyi said was correct and in order.. That means that government STILL overspent by R33m... How many RDP houses could have been built with R33m? And the fact is MISTER MANYI that it is your governments' continuous waste of OUR money that is the problem... Failure to deal with government corruption whilst fixing it with our tax that is the problem... Your continuous increase and added taxes whilst your police force who attacks the innocent whilst stuffing their own pockets that is the problem. And you dare to call the media "mischievous"?

  • JabaJaba - 2011-08-23 18:09

    here we go again....excuses excuses......sad how the masses are continously fooled by these chops.....but then again - maybe is not so sad afterall seeing that they accept these clowns incompetence!

  • Phaedioux - 2011-08-23 18:11

    Of course it is a 'barefaced' attempt at embarrassing the ministers who are mollycollied to high heaven and live in splendid excess - they who are supposed to be representing the poor and downtrodden that are living in abject poverty. I hope the exercise proves to be very embarrassing and that the 'people on the ground' get to be aware of it!

  • Jelly - 2011-08-23 18:12

    Embarrass the executive? Nope dont think so, they are sommer doing it themselves with this scandalous thievery....

  • moor - 2011-08-23 18:14

    Oh, Mr. Manje, I thought you would say this was a waste of money on a truly ANC scale. So you did not, I was wrong. Oh, well, maybe you will be more honest next time.

  • darkwing - 2011-08-23 18:15

    Ah, yes. What would you do without the wonderful Ministerial Grab book?

  • Pietbril - 2011-08-23 18:17

    I doubt if Zumatello will give his Nkandla house back. What Minister or President will use it in future in any case? That is money taken from the people to build a mansion for him and his extended family. The rest of KZN will still have housing and infrastructure shortages. Amandla!!

  • eidel - 2011-08-23 18:22

    What did you expect. We must embrace you for that!

  • Delta Roger - 2011-08-23 18:26

    Nobody disputes the fact that the houses belong to the state. Why do we spend an average of R5.2m per house when they are not occupied all the time. There is something fishy, who got the contract to purchase / renovate /build the houses. How much will be directed into the ANC coffers in the guise of a donation. The taxpayer is "gatvol". Time for a regime change,just like Egypt and Libya.

  • george60 - 2011-08-23 18:30

    If nobody embarrass them the reckless spending of taxpayers money on themselves will just carry on. They always rave about the poorest of poor, that mentality will get the ANC nowhere. Its time that the voters say we had enough of this bull!!

  • B4UGO - 2011-08-23 18:36

    Can I have one for a month then??..............

  • James Weather - 2011-08-23 18:39

    ahhhh shut up Manyi.... While your people are living in shacks and on the street you are trying to justify spending R180 million on houses for the 'rich' .... Come on ... Bark up another tree ... R75 000 for 1 RDP house = 2 400 houses. You telling me these ministers dont already have houses .... Just shows the ANC is about self-wealth and not about uplifting their people!

  • croix - 2011-08-23 18:40

    "(They) remain assets of the state and therefore of the people of South Africa." Humbug! Who says the 'People' wanted you to invest in multi-million houses??? The 'guvment' are greedy, self-entitled cadres who imagine themselves to be equal to 'demi-gods' and think they have the right to live in "clover" off the money of tax paying citizens!!! "Barefoot and fancy-free LOOTING" is more like the truth here!

  • Dominic - 2011-08-23 18:41

    SA has more cabinet ministers than the UK and their accumulative salaries are almost double that of the UK while GDP is less than a quarter.

  • Justin Schon - 2011-08-23 18:53

    If we not worried about 183m for a few buildings, then we might as well not worry about anything. Let's just buy a jet for each minister with their own airport, possibly gautrain to their door? oh wait they can't no copper. This government worries too much about the image of the appearance rather that the poor.

  • Francois - 2011-08-23 18:53

    Then why is the executive not performing?

  • Goddok - 2011-08-23 18:56

    Ek stem nie baie keer met die man saam nie, maar hierdie keer het hy 'n punt. Die enigste vraag wat opkom is die bedrag per huis wat 'n bietjie baie klink. Alhoewel, dit behoort uitgesorteer te word deur 'n behoorlike tenderproses.

  • Ryan - 2011-08-23 18:57

    Manyi if the truth is embarrassing then so be it

  • Sesquialtera - 2011-08-23 19:01

    What absolute bull, the entire government should bury their heads in the sand in shame. Shame that that they draw huge salaries, drive fancy cars and live in luxurious mansions, and yet after more than fifteen years, the majority of people for whom the government/ANC claim to have fought the struggle for, still live in shacks and cant afford to buy a car. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME

  • loggers - 2011-08-23 19:05

    if "There is nothing wrong in ministers and deputy ministers having two residences (one paid for by the state and another by themselves) surely they would also being paying business rates on the second home !!

  • So What If.. - 2011-08-23 19:07

    Yes Manyi, your smokescreen won't work. The fact is that money that could have been spent on the poor was wasted on housing for useless ANC Officials, who are only interested in their own pockets!

  • Mundu - 2011-08-23 19:08

    mmmm...17 Deputy Ministers for maximum performance. Wheres the performance ANC? You embarass yourselves. Just more gravy train riders.

  • loggers - 2011-08-23 19:13

    If "There is nothing wrong in ministers and deputy ministers having two residences (one paid for by the state and another by themselves)", would they be paying business rates on their 2nd residence ?

  • muti - 2011-08-23 19:22

    6 cabinet post since May 2009 and 17 deputy ministers since October 2010 to "ensure maximum performance..." WHAT PERFORMANCE??? The only performance was the successful (read: "horrific") spending of R183 million at R5.7 million per house. An ordinary citizen would have to earn over R200 000 per month to qualify for the bond. This excessive spending is just another revelation of the ANC's warped sense of values - gross excesses by the executive while the people starve but still expect them vote ANC - Julius Malema can truly claim he learnt well from the elders!!!

  • v3 - 2011-08-24 09:07

    So, Jimmy, has the ANC p'ssed R183,000,0000 of our money - that was collected for delivery to the poor - on themselves or hasn't it? Deal with the message rather than focussing on the messenger.

  • citizen36M1 - 2011-08-24 09:37

    "opportunistic and disingenuous" - Manyi's newly learnt words. Let me tell you what is both opportunistic and disingenuous, Manyi. That is using the poor with little or no education, the youth with great expectations, the workers longing for better conditions all as voting cattle and promising them a new, wonderful life and then failing them time after time, election after election not delivering on your manifestos. And then allowing a kleptocratic, incompetent bunch of thugs to pose as a government and enrich themselves, families and friends while the people on the ground have actually regressed to pre-1994 levels in terms of education, healthcare, housing, job availablity etc. GET REAL, MANYI!

  • Sisie - 2011-08-24 10:03

    Pictures and addresses please people - so that the masses can see why they aren't getting services. They don't deserve to be protected - i know quite a few who would love to live in mansions. hard to believe these people were quite happy in a normal house until they became BIG.

  • C.I.A - 2011-08-24 13:05

    Do you guyz expct the leaders of the country to stay in shakz - get a life... these guys must live a proper life --- go overseaz to see how ministerz live there...

  • I_Say - 2011-08-26 14:05

    - I am happy to pay tax to a government I democratically voted for and I feel they should live the high life ... After all I also paid to tax the apartheid government to feed their fat pig bellies .. ad back then I didn't have a choice..

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