AFTER the DA's negative and unwarranted public criticism of the purchase of vehicles for the minister of communications, no equal opportunity has been offered to the ministry to set the record straight.
Instead, adverse reporting and commentary in both the electronic and print media has been allowed to continue, while responses from the department have been deliberately suppressed by the "free" media that purports "fairness" as its credo.
I wish to state, once more, the following facts:
Firstly, the minister is entitled to a vehicle in Pretoria and Cape Town. So an issue should not be made of the purchase of two vehicles in an ingenious attempt to aggregate the expenditure in order to create an impression of a fetish for an extravagant lifestyle on the part of the minister.
Secondly, the government transport scheme for political office bearers prescribes that a minister is entitled to acquire a vehicle for official use that is worth not more than 70percent of his/her annual salary package.
This applies to the minister's offices in Cape Town and Pretoria. The prescribed value includes whatever additional accessories might come with a vehicle.
The Department of Transport also prescribes a variety of options for the purchasing of vehicles for use by political office bearers. The Department of Communications chose the option of the full maintenance lease.
Another important thing to note is that the minister or Department of Communications did not ask or order extra features on any of the vehicles as is suggested in the media.
So the process of procuring the vehicles for Minister Siphiwe Nyanda was done in accordance with these prescribed guidelines.
Tiyani Rikhotsospokesman for minister ofcommunications, Pretoria