Radley Keys, MPP
Chief Whip to the DA in the KZN Legislature
Fifteen KwaZulu-Natal Members of Parliament (MPL’s) will have to do without personal drivers after declining to reapply and undergo medical examinations and certification to show that they require such a perk.
This was after the KZN Whips Forum adopted new regulations in April around the use of drivers following wide-scale abuse which had led to some MPP’s employing family and friends as drivers – at enormous cost to the taxpayer.
The news rules mean that all 22 MPL’s with drivers had to reapply for the benefit.
It is telling that so many MPP’s declined to apply and undergo the necessary medical examination and certification required. According to the new rules, this includes a specialist medical certificate supported by a further medical assessment for corroboration of the medical assessment. Effectively, this is a second opinion to assist the Whips’ Forum to recommend a driver for the member – or not.
The outcome is that R15 000 per month, per members’ driver is now being saved. This is up to a total of R225 000 per month and R2.7 million per annum.
The battle against drivers for those MPL’s who do not require such a service has been fought by the DA since the inception of this benefit being offered to members. The DA has consistently argued this was an abuse of power by the ruling party.