- President Ramaphosa will look into claims made by the IRR that the VIP protection budget is out of control
- The IRR report claims the budget allocated to VIP protection went from R353 million in 2008/2009 to R1.55 billion in 2018/2019
- The report’s author Gareth van Onselen says the budget will be used for protection services for the president, deputy president, former presidents and their spouses and other dignitaries
The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) report about the vast amounts of money spent by the government on protection services for VIPs has reportedly drawn President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attention.
Ramaphosa will look into issues contained in the report, which was penned by the IRR’s head of politics and governance, Gareth van Onselen.
The report –titled SA’s Secret Police: Inside the Multi-billion Rand Clandestine VIP Protection Services, claims the budget allocated to VIP protection services has exploded from R353 million in 2008/2009 to R1.55 billion in 2018/2019.
Briefly.co.za gathered that van Onselen noted that the budget is expected to reach R1.728 billion in 2020/2021 financial year. The budget will be used for protection services for the president, deputy president, former presidents and their spouses and other dignitaries.
Van Onselen describes the budget increase as an explosion and said the 2018/2019 budget was more than the total amount spent by Thabo Mbeki’s administration in 5-years, which was ‘only’ R1.44 billion.
The report makes note of an astronomical increase in the VIP budget spend during Jacob Zuma’s administrations which ran from 2008/2009 to 2018/2019. Van Onselen noted that Ramaphosa would see out the final year of Zuma’s second term.
Van Onselen said the total spent by the Zuma administration in 10 years would come in at R9.528 billion compared to R2.343 billion spent by Mbeki’s administration in nine years.
According to van Onselen, it was worrying that the costs of these services had gone up by such astronomical amounts while the work being done by VIP protection squads remained largely the same.
Van Onselen said even more worrying was the lack of explanation from the Zuma administration about the costs, he said there was a complete lack of accountability and oversight in this matter.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said the issues in the report would receive attention.
"The President is on record having said he is aware there are inefficiencies and in certain instances wasteful expenditure in government. This is the reason he has initiated reconfiguration of government," she said.
The SAPS which is responsible for all VIP protection services said it would not comment on the report until it had studied the contents more thoroughly.
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