R273,972 – what the president’s jet costs to run daily: DA

Put another way‚ the president’s jet is going to cost us R273 972 per day.

That’s how the Democratic Alliance’s Kobus Marais interpreted the R100-million that has been “allocated for the leasing of the VIP-configured jet for the 2016/17 financial year”‚ as “indicated” by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

“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‚” Marais said.

“If President Jacob Zuma is serious about stabilising our economic outlook then he must personally set an example of restraint‚ and order the minister not to proceed with plans to lease the aircraft.”

Marias said “VIP travel has become a fiscal black hole costing South Africans hundreds of millions” and suggested the minister was hiding behind “security reasons” in “a desperate attempt to prevent the public from knowing just how much the president is wasting on luxurious travel”.

He added that under former president Thabo Mbeki “detailed information about flights was provided to Parliament including the routing‚ flying hours‚ landing fees and catering costs for every flight”.

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