Expert highlights ‘hidden costs’ in VIP protection

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Head of Politics and Governance at the Institute for Race Relations (IRR), Gareth Van Onselen, says the number allocated to VIP protection seems to be increasing, however, the number of trips by the VIP protectors accompanying high-ranking politicians appear to be stable and do not increase.

This comes after IRR, released a report about the cost of the VIP protection in South Africa.

The report revealed that the National Treasury will spend just under R3 billion guarding high-ranking officials in the 2018/2019 financial year.

This VIP protection expenditure includes presidential protection services, static and mobile security and the securing of chartered flights.

Van Onselen says so much to do with VIP protection is hidden away in reports and is not properly reported on, which is why they don’t have a full explanation as to why these VIP protection costs increase happen year-on-year without explanation.

“We don’t know how much for example the Presidential Protection Unit spends on protection because it is hidden within this broader body and it doesn’t have a stand-alone budget which is presented in any national budget or local budget.”

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