Former minister Roy Padayachie burnt through more than R370 000 of taxpayers’ money on rental cars in a four-month period, public service & administration minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in parliament on Monday.
Sisulu was responding to a question from Democratic Alliance MP Patricia Kopane.
According to a report in The Star newspaper, three cabinet ministers spent nearly three quarters of a million rand on vehicle rentals over a period of 18 months, despite the fact that they had official cars at their disposal.
Together, Padayachie, Sisulu (ironically) and deputy public service & administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo spent R725 000 of taxpayers’ money on the rentals.
According to The Star, Padayachie, who died in 2012 while on a trip to Ethiopia, clocked up more than 14 000km at a cost of R373 163. This happened while he was public service minister, after he was redeployed from communications by president Jacob Zuma.
“Vehicles had to be hired during the reporting period because the former minister [Padayachie] had to execute his official responsibilities outside the seat of office [Cape Town or Pretoria],” the newspaper quoted Sisulu as saying. “Vehicles were also hired when the official vehicle went for a service or had a breakdown.”
It’s not the first time a minister has come under fire for spending huge amounts of money on their transport requirements. Shortly after taking office in 2009, former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda was criticised after his office bought two 7-Series BMWs at a cost of about R2,4m.
In 2010, Nyanda’s penchant for spending freely from the public purse came under the spotlight again when he racked up huge bills at five-star Cape Town hotels, even though he had an official residence in the city.
Nyanda’s deputy at the time, Dina Pule, who later went on to become minister — before being sacked — also came in for criticism when her office bought a Mercedes Benz GL320 for use in Gauteng and an Audi Q7 4.2 TDI for use in Cape Town.
The Mercedes cost taxpayers R868 000 and the Audi R757 000. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media