Ministerial handbook out soon – Chabane

The Minister of Public Service and Administration Mr Collins Chabane. Christine Vermooten

The Minister of Public Service and Administration Mr Collins Chabane. Christine Vermooten

Long-awaited amendments to the ministerial handbook will be finalised soon, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

They would include some of the austerity measures for ministers announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday.

Chabane was briefing reporters at Parliament following Cabinet’s regular Wednesday fortnightly meeting. The process of amending the handbook which regulates the benefits and perks of public office bearers has taken more than four years so far.

Chabane blamed the delay on the need for extensive consultations. The handbook is expected to cap the amount political office-bearers can spend on cars. “The measures which affect the executive and aspects which fall in the context of the ministerial handbook are enforceable,” Chabane said.

He stressed the handbook amendments and cutting ministerial perks as announced by Gordhan were two separate processes, but would be aligned to ensure consistency.

The handbook and the perks cuts would apply to ministers, premiers, and mayors. “I think the minister [Gordhan] is quite clear that the measures we are taking are going to be binding throughout the state machineryincluding both the provincial and local government,” said Chabane.

The cost-cutting measures were welcomed by the entire Cabinet, he said. “These measures will go a long way in reducing any wastage in government spending.” Cabinet believed taxpayers’ money would be used more efficiently and not wasted on luxuries.

“Cabinet calls on all national and provincial departments, municipalities, public entities and constitutional institutions to implement these measures,” Chabane said. On Wednesday, Gordhan announced that government intended to slash perks for all officials, from ministers to mayors, to save more than R2 billion.

Gordhan said the new rules would apply from December 1 to all spheres of government.


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