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DPSA Releases Revised Ministerial Handbook

December 10, 2019

Department of Public Service and Administration

10 December 2019

Ministers and premiers can only purchase official vehicles to the value of R700 000, 00 inclusive of VAT, maintenance plans and security extras going forward.

This limitation is contained in recent changes to the Ministerial Handbook.

The public service and administration minister, Senzo Mchunu, announced the adjustment during a briefing on the revised Ministerial Handbook yesterday.

The minister indicated that cabinet had, in the interests of fiscal prudence, referred the Guide for Members of the Executive back to a committee of ministers comprising the minister of finance, public works and infrastructure and the public service and administration to revisit certain aspects in the Guide to curb costs, while not compromising government operations.

Other changes announced include:

• Members and their spouses travelling by air transport must travel in economy class for all official domestic travel as well as for international travel where the travel time is less than two hours;
• The State shall not bear any costs in respect of security upgrades undertaken at the Member’s private residence;
• Annual limitation of R60 000.00 for the rental of cellular telephones and the cost of official calls;
• Staff in support of a Member’s Office, excluding household aides, has been reduced as follows:
• 1. Minister – 13 to 7;
• 2. Deputy Minister – 9 to 5;
• 3. Premier – 12 to 7;
• 4. MEC – 12 to 5.
• State’s contribution for water and electricity will be limited to R5 000.00 per month per State-owned Residence with no contribution for private residences.
• Travel by a spouse for official domestic trips is now limited to six domestic economy class travel trips per financial year if the Member is required to attend official duties accompanied by a spouse or adult family member;
• Additional flight tickets for Member’s private use is reduced from 30 to 20 single economy class tickets for use by the Member or the Member’s spouse;
• The continued benefits for members upon relinquishing office is reduced to one calendar month; and
• Members to pay rental for second state-owned residence.

The minister also pointed out that “similar changes will take place to cut these costs in the Public Service and the public sector in general, including Mayors, Executive Committees, Directors General and state-owned entities”.

As regards good governance, the minister emphasized that government needs to “look at the problem holistically by looking at efficiencies in how Government is structured, the cost of administration and leakages, so as to create sustainable long term solutions”.

In terms of unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, the department plans to engage with the AGSA, national treasury and the relevant executive to investigate each case and charge implicated officials and service providers.