When our new president mentioned in his opening address that he would be rooting out corruption, I thought it would be a positive thing. Not in my wildest imagination did I think of the approach he finally took.
“If you include everything a MP could possible want as a staff perk, they won’t steal anymore, right?”
By the looks of things, our government officials have free reign on the purse strings, and they do their damndest to spend as much as possible while that lasts. After the whole luxury car debacle, where every government minister, and, what seems like, the top 10 people in every department got a million-rand-plus car, or 2 in some cases. There is now the question of the police leadership’s new residences.
Why on earth would a lowly official like the police commisioner even warrant an official residence? He is supposed to be on the road, visiting his staff and sorting through police issues. And when he needs to be at home with his family, what the hell is wrong with his current house? In every company I’ve worked at, if you needed to relocate for work reasons, they would pay your relocation costs, but you would have to sell your current house, and buy another, in a price class that you could afford. A policy I can find no fault with.
For government ministers that spend extended times in either Cape Town or Pretoria, I can understand that they get a government residence, in the city where they spend the least amount of time, and their own in the other. And it does not have to be worth millions? What is wrong with houses in more affordable areas? Not convenient? No, they do not carry enough status, and in this country it is all about status, screw whether you can actually do the job you have been appointed for, as long as you can display your status.
If I understand correctly, it looks like the police commisioner’s new residence is being transferred into his name, but I hope I’m misunderstanding.
I would like some answers from the government though. If we’ve historically bought houses for all and sundry in state employ, how much have we spent, and what happened to those houses once these people got fired moved on? If the police commissioner needs to have an official residence, why isn’t there one appointed, as there is with the president, and he doesn’t have a choice, and once he vacates the post, he also vacates the residence? Same goes for anyone else that has a residence thrown in as a perk.