Maimane calls for 'fat from govt' to be trimmed
DA leader Mmusi Maimane says Zuma's Cabinet is too large and expensive.
CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has urged President Jacob Zuma to announce measures to 'cut the fat' from government when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) next Thursday.
Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club today, Maimane says Zuma's Cabinet is too large and expensive.
The DA leader says ministries should be reconfigured with the objective of boosting economic growth and creating jobs.
He has proposed reducing the number of ministries from 35 to 15, a move he says would save South Africa R4.7 billion per year.
"Salaries, housing, car allowances, travel allowances and VIP protection for all 74 members of the executive makes this extravagance we can ill afford. Our spending for VIP protection alone amounted to more than R2 billion last year, imagine what we could have done with that money."
'PARLIAMENT MUST REMAIN FUNCTIONAL AND INTACT'
At the same time, Maimane said Zuma must be allowed to deliver his Sona without incident, as the ghost of last year's chaos haunts Parliament.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has fuelled fears there would be a repeat of the drama.
EFF leader Julius Malema is quoted as saying Zuma would have to explain why he fired former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene before delivering his speech.
Last year, EFF MPs were forcibly removed from the National Assembly chamber after they demanded to know when Zuma would repay part of the taxpayers' money spent of upgrading his Nkandla home.
"It's important that the president is held accountable to the people, and for that to happen, Parliament must remain functional and intact. It's the best place for us to hold our executives to account."