As president, Cyril Ramaphosa enjoys some lekker perks.
He takes home a decent paycheque at the end of each money, and he’s enjoyed people showering him with expensive gifts such as Cuban cigars and herbal medical cream.
Ramaphosa also has some neat travel privileges, which includes having South African Airways’ aircrafts at his disposal.
Must be nice to be the prez, huh?
For SAA, however, it’s an ongoing financial nightmare to supply him and his deputy David Mubaza with the planes needed to fly around.
More from News24:
City Press’ sister newspaper, Rapport, has learnt that it cost the air force R1,5 million for a single return flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg on June 21, using an airline jet that could easily have transported 316 passengers. But on this flight, as on other similar flights, there has never been more than 20 or 30 people on board, a senior SAA official said.
Jirre, R1,5 million? Here I’m thinking paying nearly a thousand bucks for a domestic flight was highway robbery.
If you thought that was bad, SAA has also had to cough up between R7 million and R10 million for Ramaphosa’s flight to Canada for the G7 summit.
Shooketh, thy name is mine.
Not that flying in a private jet is any cheaper for Ramaphosa and his presidential crew:
The jets are leased when there are no commercial flights available for Ramaphosa to take. In contrast, aviation experts say the cost of leasing a private jet for between 20 and 30 people for a return flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg would be about R350 000.
All in all, it’s cost SAA’s air force a staggering R50 million in four months to provide for the president’s travelling pleasure, and it’s causing no end of headaches for air force officers:
Air force officers responsible for handling the payments to SAA said the arrangement was also causing problems with their accounting systems, as the payments are not made according to prescribed regulations.
SAA simply provides a letter with the prices for specific flights. There are no comparative quotations, which Treasury regulations require. In addition, SAA does not provide an itemised account that sets out how the final price was calculated.
Not that Ramaphosa is helping matters, given that he previously said he would only fly SAA or on an air force plane, not on a leased aircraft that would benefit a private company.
That, and he wants to use the least expensive available air travel as a matter of principle, according to his spokesperson Khusela Diko.
Relatable, but still.
Until a solution to this problem is found, VIP flights will continue to be paid for by the air force.
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