President Zuma had today Thursday, made a reappearance at the National Assembly to reply to his office’s budget after his opening address was drowned out by opposition protest.
Interestingly, the 2016 budget reveals that the sum of R499.7m was allocated to the presidency as against last year’s R448.3m.
This excludes the R6m mapped out for the salaries of the President and Deputy President. This Amount was budgeted separately as a direct charge to the national revenue fund.
The 2016 budget which is split between two programmes – administration and executive support‚ with administration receiving the lion’s share of R453m, has the chunk sum of R329m budgeted for salary payment of the presidency’s 663 staffers. This is the largest expenditure recorded in the administration programme.
Goods and services including audit costs‚ communication‚ computer services and consultants; and business advisory services — total R162.8m of the budget‚ while R53.3m was budgeted for travel and subsistence in the department.
The R453m this programme received was budgeted as follows: Management (R335.2m); support services to the President (R66m); and support services to the Deputy President (R52.1m).
However, the administration programme is explained to make provision for “leadership‚ management‚ and support services to the Presidency” while the R46.3m is mapped out for executive support programme which provides “strategic support to enable the cabinet to promote accountability and policy coherence”
Out of the R46.3m‚ R19.4m was budgeted for computer services‚ R1.4m for catering for departmental activities‚ and R3.6m for travel and subsistence.
The support services budget for President Jacob Zuma and for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa includes costs associated with state visits‚ meeting obligations to the United Nations‚ SA’s conflict resolution efforts in Lesotho‚ South Sudan and Sri Lanka‚ as well as Mr Ramaphosa’s role as patron of the Moral Regeneration Movement.
The budgets usually have in it, specific line items for household expenditure and the spousal support unit‚ but these specifics have for years now, been excluded in the budget documents.
In the meantime, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been suspended from parliament for five working days after they were thrown out of the house, for disrupting President Jacob Zuma’s budget debate.
President Jacob Zuma made his 2016 budget explanations to empty opposition benches as opposition parties assented themselves from the meeting.
In his closing remark, the president expressed his dissatisfaction over the incidence that occurred on Wednesday. He said he won’t respond to people who are not relevant. “I’m only dealing with people who dealt with the budget”
Chastising the parliament, Zuma said he is not happy with the way the house is conducting itself. He added that the Parliament is making headlines for all the wrong reasons and when he travels people ask him what’s happening here.
Watch full address here