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President Ramaphosa to review ministerial handbook following public outrage

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By: Aneeqa du Plessis

President Cyril Ramaphosa has withdrawn the new ministerial handbook. This follows public outrage over new perks to ministers and their deputies, which would see them enjoying free water and electricity at their official residences. Briefing the media yesterday, spokesperson Vincent Magwenya, highlighted that the president acknowledges the public sentiment on the matter.

“President Ramaphosa acknowledges and appreciates the public sentiment. However, the impression created that the amendments were conducted in secrecy and to avoid public scrutiny is false,” said Magwenya.

Speaking on VOC’s Breakfast show on Wednesday morning, Advocate Stephanie Fick, Executive Director Accountability Division at The Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) questioned what the thought process was regarding an increase in perks given the current financial woes of the average citizen.

“Let me start off by saying that certain positions will always have perks but in the same breath these individuals are being paid out of the SA’s fiscus. Furthermore, the country is experiencing loadshedding and some citizens don’t even have access to electricity, water and to top it off we have an unemployment rate that is sky high” explained Fick.

According to Fick the cabinet should be trimmed.

“There are too many ministers and too many deputy ministers and if they can just fix that and minimize it. Can you imagine how much money will then be available for service delivery and the betterment of the country,” added Fick.

Fick fingered parliament for not holding the executive to account when the idea was birthed to enhance perks to the amount of more than R80 million. She said parliament is supposed to be the voice of the citizens and have their best interest at heart.

“Can you really be thinking about your own pockets in a time where we are still recovering from a global pandemic. We need more money in the fiscus to spend on the citizens not on ministers that are already earning more than R2 million,” said Fick.

She has encouraged the public to keep the momentum going and keep the state accountable.

“I think it’s time they relook at the ministerial handbook and take into consideration the circumstances of the country and its people,” added Fick.


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