Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Caucus Leader
R1.2 million has been spent on new furniture at Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane’s official residence in Bryanston in north Johannesburg since she took office in May 2009.
This is revealed in a reply to my application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act to the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development.
Previously they had claimed that they could not provide information about the furniture because of “security reasons”.
New lounge and dining room furniture was bought, the five bedrooms were refurbished, and new curtains and bedding was also purchased, for a total sum of R1 191 061.
This is really excessive and unnecessary as there was no need to replace the previous expensive furniture bought for R3.2 million between 2005 and 2009, mostly when Mbhazima Shilowa was premier.
The full list of new furniture is given as follows:
Bedding, linen, curtains, TV units, lounge suites, coffee and side tables, dining room table and chairs, base and mattress sets, bedroom suites, settees, couches.
The old furniture was removed and will be auctioned.
Shilowa’s style in furniture may not have been Mokonyane’s taste, but it was still quite new. The total amount paid for furniture at this house since it was bought in 2005 amounts to R4.4 million.
About 15 RDP houses could have been built for the cost of Mokonyane’s luxurious furniture.
It’s a poor sense of priority to buy fancy furniture when people are struggling financially and services need to be improved in Gauteng. It’s not on the scale of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence, but it is still a huge waste of public money.