President Jacob Zuma has narrated his experience after he flew South African Airways to the United States of America for the 71st United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.
A statement released by the presidency disclosed that Zuma had an ‘excellent hospitality’ and a ‘restful and pleasant’ journey.
The presidency also announced that President Zuma chose SAA over chartered flight to promote; and demonstrate government’s support for State Owned Entities (SOEs).
“The president has said many times that government will do as much as possible to support SOEs; including SAA. He just thought since it is tourism month in South Africa, that it’s a time to promote SAA,” the presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said.
He, therefore, encouraged South Africa to also fly the national carrier; as the South Africa marks Tourism Month in September.
Cope Happy With President Jacob Zuma
In response, the Congress of the People (Cope) commended and encouraged President Zuma to continue to fly South African Airways (SAA) for his international trips; as doing so would lessen the huge sum of money spent during his official trips.
The party’s spokesperson Dennis Bloem also admitted that Zuma made the right move as “the country can no longer afford his extravagant lifestyle, and it must start with his bloated executive.”
Acquisition of a new presidential jet has been a heated debate in the country; with many opposition groups and critics slamming the idea.
President Jacob Zuma’s own jet, Inkwazi, which cost R300m and additional R108m for its interior decoration has been in dire straits; following several technical breakdowns in the past few months.
However, despite the shrill cries of opposition; the Defence Ministry says a new jet will be obtained in the next 18-months. In 2015, Zuma faced intense criticism; following reports that R4bn would be spent on acquiring a new plane for him and his entourage.