Presidential handbook made public
THE PRESIDENTIAL handbook that clarifies the provisions and payment arrangements for the support and security of the president, his deputy and their families, was disclosed for the first time yesterday.
It follows a court ruling last month giving the Presidency until Monday to make the document public after an application by AfriForum to reports of holidays taken by President Jacob Zuma and his former deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, costing the state R1.6 million and R2m respectively.
AfriForum’s application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act for a copy of the handbook was later rejected on the grounds it was still a “work in progress”.
Private presidential holidays fell under a 2007 cabinet policy, which was confidential, the government said.
Judge Roland Sutherland ruled last month that perks enjoyed by the president and his deputy should be open to the public. Announcing the release of the handbook yesterday, the Presidency said it had been approved by the cabinet at its meeting last week.
It provided guidelines for “the administrative, logistical, security and general support services to be rendered by the state to the president, his or her spouse and dependent children, and the deputy president and his or her spouse”.
It outlined duties and lines of accountability to government staff responsible for these services, and provided the authority to make decisions on what was permitted.
The handbook says travel of the president and deputy is the responsibility and for the account of the state, and that they may invite guests as long as there is space for security, medical and presidency staff.