A special meeting of the provincial general council in East London on Monday held that the ANC’s economic transformation commission supported a proposal where taxpayers should only have to support the President’s first wife.
Delegates at the commission said:
What was made clear during the discussions was that, as taxpayers, we cannot afford to continue financing so many wives.
Only wife number one should get benefits from the state. Our understanding is that when [you] a man decides to have more than one wife, you are able to support the others. Then deal with it.
The delegates at the meeting felt strongly about the issue.
We supported [the proposal] and if anyone for any reason suppresses some of our recommendations, there are channels to take the proposal forward.
A member of the ANC Veteran’s League had first raised the issue hwile arguing that the spousal benefits for this President’s wives should be reconsidered.
A proposal will be tabled at next week’s ANC policy conference to remove benefits for Zuma’s second, third and fourth wives.
According to the Presidency, the budget for the Presidential spousal support office was R15,5 million in the financial year spanning 2009/2010. This amount was almost double the amount budgeted for Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe’s terms in office.
ANC spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, said earlier this year:
The spouses pay their own living or household expenses, be it food, mortgages, lights, water and so forth. Nothing is paid for by the state in the spouses’ four households. They live in private homes.
As it stands, Zuma has married six times.
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