In a famous victory for the people, DA forces Ramaphosa to withdraw Ministerial Handbook

Issued by Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration
17 Oct 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

In a famous victory against ANC cadre corruption and for the people of South Africa, the DA has won our battle to force President Cyril Ramaphosa to withdraw amendments he secretly made to the Ministerial Handbook back in April. It was the DA that exposed these changes over the past two weeks, whereby Ramaphosa planned to force taxpayers to pay for unlimited amounts of free water and electricity for the same ANC ministers and deputy ministers who robbed our country of these services. The DA also exposed that the new Handbook would have nearly doubled the number of ANC cadres employed in ministerial offices, which would cost the public at least R87 million more every year.

After exposing Ramaphosa’s secret perks for Cabinet cadres, the DA this morning held a press conference where we presented the President with a direct ultimatum: scrap the Handbook, or the DA would mobilise society to protest at Bryntirion Estate, which is home to the presidential residence and dozens of ministerial mansions. A few hours later, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, announced that the President had acceded to the DA’s demands by withdrawing the Handbook.

The DA will however persist in our efforts to completely reform the Ministerial Handbook system, which currently gives the President dictatorial powers to force taxpayers to pay for ministerial perks, without even having to inform Parliament or the public. This means that Ramaphosa is entirely at liberty to reintroduce the perks he has just withdrawn at any moment, without any parliamentary oversight.

This is absolutely unacceptable and presents a danger to our constitutional democracy, which is why the DA will continue to pursue the complaint we lodged with the Public Protector last week. Instead of Ramaphosa having dictatorial powers to dish out patronage to his Cabinet colleagues, it must be Parliament, through an open, transparent and participatory process, that decides on any limited Cabinet benefits that may be appropriate in particular cases. We hope that the Public Protector will agree with us on this.

Yet even as the DA continues to wage our war against ANC cadre deployment corruption, including in the form of the Ministerial Handbook, it is important to recognise the progress we are making. It is the DA that exposed the ANC cadre deployment minutes to the people of South Africa, just like it was the DA that exposed the Ministerial Handbook to the people. It is the DA that is challenging ANC cadre deployment corruption in court, and it is the DA that has defeated Ramaphosa’s secret and sinister plan for more perks for Cabinet cadres.

The truth is that, were it not for the DA, Ramaphosa and the ANC would have gotten away with their amendments to the Handout Handbook without anyone even knowing about it. Today’s victory is nothing less than incontrovertible proof that it is only the DA that can undo the untold damage that ANC corruption has done to our country.

As the 2024 election draws near, voters should ask themselves: if the DA can undo and prevent ANC corruption without even being in power nationally yet, just imagine how much we can achieve to fix South Africa with a DA government in the Union Buildings?