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Minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni. Picture: GCIS
Minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni. Picture: GCIS

The DA is up in arms as minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said ministers did not have alternative power supply for their homes and also experienced load-shedding, despite government communication suggesting otherwise.

This week Ntshavheni sought to explain her comments to TimesLIVE. 

In an interview with eNCA last week, Ntshavheni said: “I must clarify there’s no ministers with generators; honestly, there are no generators. It’s a DA whatever. We sit in load-shedding, except those who stay in private houses and have provided for themselves. There’s no generators in Pretoria. The department of public works has come time and again to explain, there are no ministers with generators so we are all in the same boat.” 

The minister’s remarks were contrary to information provided by the department of public works last March that the government had spent R7.04m procuring and installing generators and inverters in state-owned houses for ministers and deputy ministers in Pretoria. The department also clarified this was not the case for ministerial homes in Cape Town. 

Public works minister Sihle Zikalala's response to written questions by DA MP Leon Schreiber in parliament. Picture: SCREENSHOT.
Public works minister Sihle Zikalala's response to written questions by DA MP Leon Schreiber in parliament. Picture: SCREENSHOT.

When asked by TimesLIVE in a post-cabinet meeting briefing on Thursday about her remarks contradicting information provided by the department of public works, Ntshavheni said she resided in a private residence in Pretoria and would not know about the state of ministerial houses.

Unfortunately, in Pretoria I reside in my private residence, and I would not know. But in Cape Town maybe public works is still going to install a generator in my house. My lived experience is that I do not have a generator in my house. I am still load-shed, like any other person. Maybe they are still en route, so as a lived experience in Cape Town I still have load-shedding. But in my Pretoria house it is a private residence, which is not up for public scrutiny. I cannot comment about other people’s houses,” she said. 

DA MP Samantha Graham-Maré believed Ntshavheni should apologise for her remarks to eNCA, saying they were “misleading”. 

“Ntshavheni lied and she must publicly apologise for blatantly misleading the nation. In 2022, I submitted a parliamentary question to the then-minister of public works and infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, on generators at ministerial houses and the costs associated therewith.

“De Lille’s response not only confirmed that the majority of ministerial houses were equipped with generators but that 13 had received brand-new generators and the state had provided diesel for these generators,” Graham-Maré said.

TimesLIVE

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