In a bid to ensure that whoever becomes the president of the country does not live the life of a “blesser”, the DA launched the alternative presidential handbook today.
The document aims to ensure that the person who occupies the Presidency is not given free rein with the people’s money.
Speaking to journalists in Rosebank, Johannesburg, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the handbook acted as an implementable guideline to put a stop to the wasteful spending that has soared to extraordinary heights under President Jacob Zuma’s presidency.
“Under President Jacob Zuma, the budget for the Presidency has increased by more than 225%, ballooning from R452.5 million in 2008/09 to R1.15 billion for 2014/15,” Maimane said.
“This needs to be curtailed and fast,” he added. According to Maimane, the handbook seeks to avoid any future Nkandlas, blue light brigades, R4 billion jets and bloated VIP protection services.
“This presidential handbook has been drafted in such a way as to remove any ambiguity, such as a swimming pool being charitably termed as a ‘firepool’,” he said. “We are satisfied that this handbook is implemented, a large chunk of the wasteful and careless spending at the very top of government will be curtailed, meaning more public funds will be available services to our people.
“The opposition party is also making an urgent call for the establishment of a parliamentary oversight committee, which will exercise oversight the country’s highest office.
“Had this committee been in place, we can say that Nkandla would not have happened,” Maimane said.
“It is unimaginable that the National Assembly is not adequately able to exercise oversight over the Presidency, despite the fact they are accountable to the House, in terms of the Constitution.”
The Presidency made public its official presidential handbook last year in November.