Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele has sought to explain the reasons behind cabinet ministers not being required to pay utility bills, following a public backlash over the perk.
In April, a limit of R5 000 was scrapped, fully exempting ministers and deputies from paying for municipal services at official or state residences. It comes months after politicians and government officials received 3% salary increases backdated to April last year.
“Until April this year, a minister who would have opted to use his or her house for official purpose, would have paid for electricity irrespective. A minister, who is staying in state houses in Cape Town and Gauteng, the state would have paid up to R5 000 and the remainder, the minister would pay in terms of electricity etc. From April, there was a new problem that occurred which ministers were extremely concerned about. They found themselves with bills of about R30 000 and with the ministerial houses, the state only has one account”, Gungubele explains.
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