Zuma: Ministers' cars 'no longer an issue'
New ministers are thinking about the recession and no longer spending large amounts on luxury cars, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
Speaking in Pretoria, Zuma said according to the ministers’ handbook they had not broken any rules by buying expensive cars. However with the global economic crisis, he believed it would stop.
“The matter has been raised. I don’t think now we are seeing the continuation of that.”
He said many ministers had needed new cars and these had been bought, not by them, but by their offices.
He said if the practice had continued despite the economic crunch then it would have been dealt with.
“Then I think it may be necessary to say even though they have the right, can’t they see what they are doing [to the burdened economy]?”
At the end of July, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said lavish car allowances would be reconsidered as a part of a review of government spending.
Chabane said ministers who recently made the news for buying luxury cars—notably Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda who
acquired two new BMWs worth about R1,1-million each—had not broken any rules.
The cabinet had established a ministerial task team to look at government spending in the context of the economic meltdown.
The team would be made up of Chabane, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi and would “advise Cabinet on how matters of this nature can be handled”.