The Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele says the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure pays for the usage of water and electricity of State-owned buildings, such as official residences.
This comes after a backlash from civil society and consumers who pay for the electricity and water they consume in their homes, despite a constant rise in the cost of living.
The Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele elaborates, “Being a minister, you have got three properties, in particular if you stay in Ngcobo or Kimberley where your house could be, there is a house in Pretoria, there is a house in Cape Town and all those are occupied for the purpose of service to the state and their infrastructure continues to be seized with the operation of the state. The ministers do pay rent for one house of the state and continue to pay all the services insofar as their private abodes are concerned.”
Government refutes claims that Ministers do not have to pay for water and electricity:
Government refutes claims that ministers do not pay for water and electricity, like other South Africans.
In a statement, Government Communication and Information Systems says that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is responsible for the costs associated with providing water and electricity to all state-owned residences, as stated in the Ministerial Handbook.
Economic and Political Analyst, Dr. Dale McKinley, explains why this hits citizens in the gut.
“This one in particular hits us in the gut which is to say, while we’re sitting here in the dark suffering from Stage 6 or Stage 4 power cuts, ministers are basically going about their business as they please and not only that, but they are getting subsidised to do so and I think there is this feeling that there is a completely different set of rules and we don’t understand why.”
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Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has filed a complaint with the Public Protector calling for the abolition of the Handbook in its entirety, which allows for these perks.