Police Minister, Bheki Cele, recently disclosed that R8 million is being spent in the current financial year to protect one VIP.
Cele was answering a question posed by DA MP Andrew Whitfield about what is apparently an over-budget for VIP protection by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Cele doing his rounds in CT ..Is it really necessary for so many VIP vehicles and bodyguards ??.. Doesn't he trust the SAPS to guard him ? pic.twitter.com/I6yC7qvtRo
— Garth 💔 (@_Calculator) April 11, 2020
“The VIP protection budget was R138 million in 2000. Then 10 years later, as the cabinet grew and leveraged its sense of self-importance, the budget increased, reaching R530 million by 2010 and a staggering R1.7 billion by 2021, “explained Whitfield.
Whitfield argues SAPS budgets have been drastically slashed, with the bulk of the cuts imposed on visible policing, while VIP budgets have risen by 26 million.
Over the past 21 years, said Whitehead, the budget that protects only the elite and no one else has increased by nearly 1150 percent.
In parliament, both Cele and National Police Commissioner, Khehla Sitole, admitted that law enforcement agencies struggle to fulfill their responsibilities.
Whitfield said the quickest and easiest way to support local frontline policing is to cut the VIP protection budget in half and redirect the funds to local governments to boost their safety budgets.