Show you care, sell your luxury cars, Tutu tells ministers
Cabinet ministers needed to sell their expensive cars, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a report on Friday.
He said he realised that ministers were allowed to drive luxury vehicles, but that it was a slap in the face of the poor.
“In the [spirit] of ubuntu, show that you care, that you are compassionate,” Tutu said at the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, according to an South African Broadcasting Corporation radio news report.
“Please sell your expensive cars and replace them with slightly less pricey ones to show that you care about these poor people.
“Your humanity depends on it, please,” said Tutu.
The Democratic Alliance said last year that since taking office, President Jacob Zuma’s government had spent a total of R1,5-billion on luxury cars, five-star hotel accommodation, parties, tickets for sports events and “self-congratulatory” advertising.
“This kind of spending represents a gross misallocation of public funds,” Democratic Alliance spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko told a parliamentary media briefing in July 2010.
The R1,5-billion was R500-million more than the figure reported by her party in April 2010, she said.
According to the DA’s Wasteful Expenditure Monitor, released at the briefing, the national department to “waste” the most was public works.
“It spent approximately R99-million on upgrades to the residences of public officials when the Zuma administration came into office,” the document stated.
The DA said at the time that the most wasteful provincial government, “by quite a large margin”, was the African National Congress-run KwaZulu-Natal.
“It spent R120,5-million on a variety of items, including unnecessary rental space, luxury cars and artwork.”
Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was responsible for the biggest expenditure on cars since April 2010, with her department having spent about R7-million on four Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
The monitor said the total spent on new vehicles by Zuma’s government stood at R65,8-million at the time of the release of the report. - Sapa.