Cabinet's rental bonanza: Ministers can rent R4m apartment for R1,200

Directors-general will pay just R75 to live it up in luxury at taxpayers’ expense

30 September 2018 - 01:04 By PHILANI NOMBEMBE
Interior view of a flat in the Rygersdal apartment block in Rosebank, Cape Town.
Interior view of a flat in the Rygersdal apartment block in Rosebank, Cape Town.
Image: Supplied

Cabinet ministers will pay just R1,200 a month to live in lavishly renovated multimillion-rand apartments in Cape Town.

A block of 29 flats was handed over by builders this month after a R100m-plus two-year renovation in the suburb of Rosebank. It will house ministers, their deputies and senior officials, with directors-general set to pay just R75 a month in rent.

Department of public work spokesperson Thami Mchunu said the flats, most of which have two bedrooms, were “primary residences for the directors-general. If ministers or deputy ministers are accommodated here, they are also entitled to another residence in Pretoria”.

Ministers, who earn R200,000 a month, would pay R1,200.82 to rent one of the flats, while deputies earning R165,000 would be charged R988.90 and directors-general R75.

Property analyst Erwin Rode said the department had overcapitalised.

“That’s a lot of money, unless you want to install gold-plated toilet seats and gold taps,” he said.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille described the level of the renovation and the bargain-basement rentals being charged as “ridiculous”, pointing out that City of Cape Town employees who lived in council property paid market-related rentals.

Political economy analyst Zamikhaya Maseti said government infrastructure such as Rygersdal should be expropriated without compensation and converted into affordable rentals for young people.

Read the full story in the Sunday Times.

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