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Presidential Handbook officially made public

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The Presidential Handbook is now a public document, the Presidency announced on Friday.

Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement: “The Presidential Handbook provides guidelines for the administrative, logistical, security and general support services to be rendered by the state to the President, his or her spouse and dependent children, and the Deputy President and his or her spouse.”

Williams said the objective of the handbook was to ensure the provision of reliable and consistent support required for the president and deputy president.

“To provide a concise operational guide to relevant government departmental staff with clearly indicated responsibilities and duties, and by implication, lines of accountability. And to provide the authority for the relevant civil servants to make decisions and to empower departmental staff with respect to what is approved, permissible and what may fall outside of the level of support required to be given to the president and deputy president.

“Whereas previously, the guide for support for the president and deputy president was a 2007 Cabinet Policy, the drafting and publication of the Presidential Handbook makes public the document which will… guide decision-making by public servants,” said Williams.

After a three year-battle the High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of lobby group AfriForum to have the document made public before November 30.

AfriForum spokesperson Ian Cameron said this was a victory for AfriForum but an even bigger victory for South Africa’s democracy.

“More than anything we have always wanted transparency and this is a step in the right direction to hold people like the president, accountable.”

Cameron said the lobby group would continue fighting for transparency in all spheres of government.

“South Africans need to know exactly where their money is being spent and we need to make sure that corruption, at the highest level, is stopped. Making the Handbook public shows us that there is still hope in the justice system,” said Cameron.

The Presidential Handbook can be viewed at News24

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