South Africa: Calls for Probe into Claims of Lavish Spending on Presidential Jet – South African News Briefs – November 13, 2023


Calls for Probe into Claims of Lavish Spending on Presidential Jet

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling for an investigation into allegations of wasteful expenditure on the Inkwazi Presidential Jet, reports City Press. The report alleges that R569,000 was spent on catering for a single flight from London to South Africa, with VIP passengers feasting on expensive food and drinks. Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said that the presidency has no involvement in catering decisions for the jet. DA leader John Steenhuisen intends to request an investigation by the Public Protector, criticising the apparent lavish spending while ordinary South Africans face hunger and malnutrition. Steenhuisen claims that surplus food and drinks are even being smuggled out of the jet by presidential VIPs.

Gauteng Govt Under Scrutiny Over Abandoned Road Project

The Gauteng government faces scrutiny as a R197 million road refurbishment tender for Beyers Naudé Drive in Randburg, Johannesburg, appears abandoned, with growing weeds and piles of dirt instead of the promised upgrades, reports News24. The tender, awarded to GMK Civils, increased by nearly R30 million from the initial bid. Internal documents reveal that nine companies bid lower than the awarded amount, raising questions about the tender process. Despite the promised extensive development, there is no visible progress on the site, with complaints from locals and businesses about the inconvenience caused by the stagnant project. ActionSA Gauteng leader Funzi Ngobeni has written to Premier Panyaza Lesufi seeking answers, but responses from the government have been elusive. The project, meant to alleviate traffic congestion, has allegedly been stagnant since July.

Mbeki Remains Most Liked Political Figure, Survey Finds

Former president Thabo Mbeki, despite being a vocal critic of the African National Congress (ANC), enjoys popularity, surpassing President Cyril Ramaphosa in a voter survey conducted by the Social Research Foundation, reports News24. Mbeki’s score increased from 53% to 57.5%, and he is well-regarded across racial groups and within the ANC. His popularity is attributed to nostalgia for a period of economic prosperity during his presidency. In contrast, Ramaphosa faces lower populairty due to challenging economic conditions and increased corruption. The survey also ranks other political leaders, with Helen Zille being more popular than current Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen, and Julius Malema leading in favourability among the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters.

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