Lifestyle Audits: Taxpayers set to fork out less money for big-spending MPs

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Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that lifestyle audits will be introduced for those who “occupy positions of responsibility” within the government.

We’ve had a few false starts with this idea before, but Ramaphosa’s keen to clean-up the image of the ANC following the damning evidence of senior party members taking part in state capture.

“Various options are currently being considered for the implementation of the audit, with a view to developing a sustainable model that is consistent with our Bill of Rights and relevant legislation.”

“The Technical Task Team is expected to provide a set of recommendations for consideration by the President by the end of October 2018.”

How would lifestyle audits work?

They would hold free-spending politicians to account for splurging their cash in an unwise manner. But it’s not just frivolity that Cyril’s targeting: Task teams would also continually monitor the lifestyles of those suspected to be engaging in corruption, fraud and other criminal activities.

Ramaphosa listed eight organisations that would be involved in the policing of these audits:

ANC Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has also suggested that these audits would eventually lead to stricter vetting process for new party members. If done properly, the ANC could shut the door on those wanting to dip their hands in the till before they’ve even entered.

Why lifestyle audits are needed

The president’s hand has seemingly been forced on this one. The state capture inquiry is digging up all sorts of dirt on the top brass, and with elections coming up next year, Cyril needs to do a good job of convincing the public that the ANC is capable of change.

The DA also turned up some embarrassing figures on how taxpayer money was being spent by the government. Around R188 million was spent on just 33 properties for officials in Joburg and Pretoria, averaging a whopping R5.7 million per home.

Also, Faith Muthambi spent R2.4 million on cars, whereas Malusi Gigaba’s wife Norma racked up a travel bill of nearly R900 000 to travel across the world with the minister.

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