Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has confirmed that the ‘R4 billion’ new aircraft for President Jacob Zuma will be acquisitioned.
The Minister said the new aircraft will be for transporting South Africa’s VVIPs, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mapisa-Nqakula was briefing journalists ahead of tabling her department’s budget in Parliament.
The Minister stressed out the importance of purchasing the new air craft, saying since both the presidential jet and the one transporting Ramaphosa have developed several technical issues, the acquisition of a new one is necessary.
“We have a responsibility to do it. It has to be done,” said Mapisa-Nqakula
During the briefing the Minister also lashed out at those who suggested the price of the aircraft would be R4 billion.
“I think now what is causing the problem is that somebody just woke up one day and said the defence force is going to spend R4 billion at a time when the economy is not doing well and obviously every South African is up in arms.”
“We would never ever sit here and say we will spend R4 billion on an aircraft,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
When questioned on how much her department will be spending on the new aircraft, Mapisa-Nqakula refused to cough out the exact amount.
By Senzile Kubheka.