President Jacob Zuma and First Lady Bongi-Zuma arriving at the Zurich International Airport in Switzerland ahead of the World Economic Forum. Pic by: Elmond Jiyane, DoC.
Cape Town – The Defence and Military Veterans Department has budgeted R100m to lease a VIP jet for the 2016/17 year, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Monday.
She was replying to a written question from Democratic Alliance MP Kobus Marais, which released on Monday.
Marais wanted to know what the budget allocated to the “leasing of the VIP-configured jet as per the Armaments Corporation of South Africa’s tender ETEL/2016/12 and when will the aircraft leased under the specified tender be delivered to the SA Air Force?”
Mapisa-Nqakula replied that the request for offer was issued on August 18. If a successful bid was received, they anticipated the aircraft would be delivered to the SA Air Force by November 1.
Marais on Monday said this amounted to R273 972 per day for the lease of a presidential jet for Zuma, more than double the price of a first class round-trip to London.
“There can be absolutely no justification for such extravagance while the South African economy is under extraordinary fiscal pressure and facing a potential ratings downgrade,” he said.
He said VIP travel had become a fiscal black hole that was costing South Africans hundreds of millions.