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By Editorial staff

Journalist


GNU cracks whip to cut costs

Under Patricia de Lille, Macpherson’s predecessor, she revealed that the properties housing ministers averaged roughly R10 million each.


It’s early days yet since the announcement of the government of national unity (GNU), but some of the noises coming out of parliament already are making the correct sound.

This week, new Public Works Minister Dean Macpherson said the days of ministers living in luxury at the expense of taxpayers is a thing of the past.

Seeing is believing, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

ALSO READ: No more new houses or offices for ministers and their deputies

Macpherson said his department will not be procuring any new houses or offices for the executives.

This included no aesthetic upgrades or improvements to furniture in their offices, too.

“We will not rent or lease any accommodation or office space. Those days are over. The tight fiscal position of the state is a paramount consideration for this decision.

“We have listened to the message of the citizens about being prudent with the public purse, to cut down on perks and invest more in creating jobs and growing the economy,” he said.

“My number one priority is to invest in infrastructure and turn South Africa into a massive construction site under the theme #LetsBuildSA.”

The homes of ministers have long been a contentious point. Under Patricia de Lille, Macpherson’s predecessor, she revealed that the properties housing ministers averaged roughly R10 million each.

ALSO READ: How did government spend R2.04 trillion in one financial year?

It’s reported 58 executives occupied homes worth a collective R830 million in Cape Town, while 39 ministers and deputies had homes reaching a collective value of R137 million.

In 2022, De Lille said government owned 3 742 properties, many of which have been standing vacant, with some lying empty for up to 10 years.

These astronomical figures don’t even take into account the amount spent on private security for these properties. You can’t make this up.

A GNU will hopefully hold other parties and their decisions accountable in the effort to cut costs.

We hope these announcements, which hopefully is not just hot air, start becoming the norm rather than the exception.

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