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Procurement process for Zuma's new jet already started

Armscor will purchase a new presidential aircraft to value of around R4 billion.

President Zuma is welcomed by President Pierre Nkurunziza on arrival at the Bujumbura international Airport in the Republic of Burundi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said it's already started the process to procure a new jet for President Jacob Zuma.

There was an outcry last year when it emerged Armscor, the defence force's acquisitions agency, was to purchase a new presidential aircraft to the tune of around R4 billion.

The SANDF's Simphiwe Dlamini said in light of the current jet having had to be grounded in Burundi, leaving Zuma and his delegation stranded last week, a new plane is clearly necessary.

"We've been engaging with our procurement agency Armcor, which is the responsible authority for procurement. And yes I can confirm that in view of this perpetual problem, we're planning to re-look at all options available to us, to deal with this matter urgently."

However, some opposition parties are strongly opposed to the move saying the country cannot afford footing the bill for a new jet.

The Democratic Alliance's Kobus Marais said, "If it's flying maximum 600 hours a year to compare that with a commercial airline of the same type of aircraft, then this is still a brand new aircraft."