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Cut to minister car allowances?

2009-07-31 08:06
Cape Town - Ministers' lavish car allowances will be reconsidered as a part of a review of government spending, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

Briefing the media after the fortnightly Cabinet meeting, Chabane said ministers who recently made the news for buying luxury cars - notably Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda who acquired two new BMWs worth about R1.1 million each - had not broken any rules.

"The political office bearers have not broken any rules and are not at fault for following the rules.

"Having said that and recognising the sensitivity of the matter, Cabinet has established a ministerial task team to look at government spending in the context of the economic meltdown."

The team will be made up of Chabane, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi and will "advise Cabinet on how matters of this nature can be handled".

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko last month brushed off suggestions that ministers might accept austerity cuts to their remuneration packages in the light of the recession.

The rethink comes after Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille on Sunday called for the cutting of some executive's perks, including free trips on the Blue Train and the right to a state sponsored domestic worker.

Zille also suggested trimming ministerial car allowances to R660 000 from the current price limit of 70% of their annual salary, which translates to just under a million rand.

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