DA releases own Presidential Handbook

DA releases own Presidential Handbook

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday unveiled his party's new Presidential Handbook. 

mmusi maimane presidential handbook_jacanews
Photo: Samkelo Maseko

Maimane said the Handbook would have gone a long way in preventing public money being spent on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla home.

The DA leader said both the president and his deputy must declare all their business interests, including that of their family members. 

According to Maimane this will go a long way in curbing corruption. 

Maimane added that the Presidency needs a parliamentary oversight committee.

"Do any of us, who even sit in this room, have a full audit of what the president's own business interests are?...Available through the Union Buildings, but that process must be transparent and make use all South Africans are clear about that," he said.

Here are some of the key features:

- Introduces a detailed Presidential Ethics Code, similar to but more detailed than the Executive Ethics Code which currently does not apply to the President. This Code focuses on financial interests, gifts, and conflict of interest; 

- Compels the President and Deputy President to disclose all business interests, as well as the business interests held by their families, in entities that conduct business with the National Government; 

- Restricts business interests in entities conducting business with the National Government; prescribing that the President or Deputy 


- President cannot have business interests in any entity if he/she “directly or indirectly owns or controls more than 5% of the shares, stocks, membership or other interest of that entity”.  

- Prescribes that the President and Deputy President’s financial interests be published in the Government Gazette annually;  

- Stipulates what should occur in the event of a failure to comply with the Presidential Ethics Code. These include, as the case may be, the initiation of impeachment proceedings by the National Assembly; an investigation by the Public Protector; or the matter being referred to the Constitutional Court; 

- Details spousal support and sets important limitations. These include capping total spend on spousal support at 45% of the President or Deputy President’s inclusive annual remuneration package; capping the cost of vehicles at 15% and prohibiting their replacement during the President or Deputy President’s term of office; and, setting conditions for providing spouse(s) with private secretaries; 

- Discontinues Private Motor Vehicle Allowances for the President and Deputy President as dedicated vehicles are always available for their transport requirements; 

- States that motor vehicles can only be replaced during the President and Deputy President’s term “as a result of non-repairable mechanical breakdown or in the event that necessary repairs exceed the value of the vehicle”.   

- Details permissible security upgrades at the private residences of the President and Deputy President. Expenditure on security upgrades are furthermore capped at R1 million with upgrades exceeding this amount subject to approval by Parliament; 

- Compels the President and Deputy President to only travel with dedicated SANDF aircraft or, when unavailable, commercial airlines; 

- Holds the President and Deputy President responsible for non-official travel costs, i.e. the State no longer carries the cost of private or party travel; and caps travel privileges of former Presidents and Deputy Presidents and their spouse(s).

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