The Democratic Alliance says a total of R48.5-million has been spent on the Presidential Medical Unit since 2009 - an average of R9.7-million a year.
DA spokesperson David Maynier said Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula revealed this in response to a parliamentary question.
The unit, which was being operated by the South African Health Military Services, was responsible for the health and wellness of the president, his deputy president, former presidents, former deputy presidents and heads of state visiting the country.
“The Presidential Medical Unit appears to have almost limitless resources,” said Maynier.
“It is staffed by an average of 56 medical personnel, has the use of an average of 67 vehicles and an average annual budget of R9.7-million.”
Maynier said the One Military Hospital, responsible for the medical treatment of the country’s defence force members, was under severe staff shortages and this compromised the healthcare received by the members.
He said it was probable the same unit was responsible for operating the multimillion rand clinic built at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla home.
“I will, therefore, be writing to ... Mapisa-Nqakula requesting her to conduct a full review of the resources available to the Presidential Medical Unit with a view to streamline the number of staff and identify savings given the poor state of the South African Military Health Service,” said Maynier. – Sapa