Ramaphosa’s feuding four Ministers of ANC load shedding to cost taxpayers R145 million per year

Issued by Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration
19 Feb 2023 in News

During his reply to the debate on his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa doubled down on his ill-advised decision to appoint yet another minister to his bloated Cabinet under the guise of dealing with the electricity crisis that his Cabinet created. Following the declaration of a National State of Disaster (NSOD), this means that responsibility for dealing with the crisis has now been fragmented across no less than four ministries: Minerals and Energy (Gwede Mantashe), Public Enterprises (Pravin Gordhan), Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) and the yet-to-be-appointed Minister of Electricity.

What Ramaphosa failed to tell the people of South Africa during this reply to SONA is that the duplication of responsibilities among the Feuding Four ministers will cost citizens over R145 million every year. In terms of the Ministerial Handbook, the legality of which the DA is challenging through a complaint to the Public Protector, each of these ministers are entitled to dozens of staff members, luxury vehicles, VIP protection, and free water and electricity.

Based on the Handbook and a series of parliamentary questions, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has calculated that South Africans will be spending over R145 million per year on these luxuries for the Feuding Four ministers while loadshedding worsens and they conduct their political turf war for control over Eskom.

Cost of the Feuding Four Ministers

Minister  Total staff  Staff cost: Minister  Staff cost: Deputy  VIP protection  Luxury vehicles  Minister salary  Deputy salary 
Public Enterprises  15  R5 580 000  R1 510 000  R16 000 000  R3 200 000  R2 470 000  R2 030 000 
Energy  25  R11 750 000  R3 530 000  R16 000 000  R3 200 000  R2 470 000  R2 030 000 
COGTA*  22  R8 760 000  R5 050 000  R16 000 000  R3 200 000  R2 470 000  R2 030 000 
Electricity*  21  R9 250 000  R5 050 000  R16 000 000  R3 200 000  R2 470 000  R2 030 000 
Total  83  R35 340 000  R15 140 000  R64 000 000  R12 800 000  R9 880 000  R8 120 000 
Grand total  R145 280 000 

*The figures for the Minister of Electricity are based on averages and on the assumption that Ramaphosa will also appoint a Deputy Minister of Electricity in order to spread more patronage among ANC cadres. The figures for COGTA are also based on averages as Dlamini-Zuma once again failed to respond to parliamentary questions.

The first component of this cost is VIP protection at a cost of R8 million per year for each Minister and Deputy. Then comes the salary of the Minister, which is R2.47 million per year, and the Deputy Minister’s salary at a cool R2 million. And don’t forget the four luxury vehicles (two for the Minister and two for the Deputy) at a combined cost of R3.2 million. (Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has quietly increased the cap on vehicle costs to R800 000 each).

These Cabinet cadres, of course, also get free water and electricity at each of their two official residences (one in Pretoria and one in Cape Town) up to a maximum cost of R60 000 per year, per house – for a total of R240 000 each.

Then comes the jobs for cadres in the private offices of the Minister and Deputy Minister. The Handbook currently entitles every Minister to employ 11 people in their private office, while the Deputy Minister gets 7. However, based on preliminary information gathered by the DA, that total is exceeded in a number of cases. We have nonetheless calculated the staff costs for the Minister of Electricity based on what the Handbook allows. In total, no less than 83 ANC cadres will be provided with highly-paid jobs in the private offices of these four ministries.

In total, the cost comes to about R145 million per year that South Africans will fork over to the Feuding Four Ministers while they fail to address the electricity crisis. However, this total does not even include the cost of the 16 official residences these cadres will occupy (two each, in Pretoria and Cape Town), the domestic and international trips they will take, as well as the cost of renting more luxury offices and setting up a new Department of Electricity.

The DA rejects Ramaphosa’s abuse of the ANC-made electricity crisis as an opportunity to spread more patronage to his fellow cadres. We have already reported the Ministerial Handbook to the Public Protector over the apparent fact that there is no law on the books that provides for its existence. That Ramaphosa can stand up and make a speech that instantly costs taxpayers tens of millions of Rands without any parliamentary oversight or cost calculation whatsoever, confirms that the Handbook is nothing more than an illegal tool to further ANC corruption.