A cabinet minister who wants to dodge Cape Town water restrictions has booked himself into an R7 000-a-night hotel. “The joke is he didn’t want to take a bucket bath in Cape Town”.
Instead of occupying his official state residence, State Security Minister Bongani Bongo checked into the five-star Taj hotel three weeks ago, complaining about the 90-second time limit he has to take showers.
Government officials said the minister used the Taj hotel as his base in Cape Town. A standard luxury suite with views of Table Mountain or the sea costs at least R4,000 a night and a presidential suite costs around R60,000 a night.
It is not clear whether the minister is occupying a standard room or a suite, but his stay at the hotel is a snub to the government’s belt-tightening measures, let alone the Western Cape’s water crisis.
“There is a joke that he didn’t want to take a short bucket bath when he was in Cape Town — like everyone else,” said one of the officials.
Guests at the hotel are requested to take 90-second showers but are not penalised if they don’t adhere to this rule.
Government officials claimed Bongo’s bodyguards were also spending time at the upmarket hotel as he preferred to have his security detail with him around the clock.
Other officials said he had been holding meetings with several ANC MPs and deputy ministers at the glitzy hotel.
Several hours before the state of the nation address, the Sunday Times team spotted the minister mingling in the Taj Hotel lobby, wearing shorts and flip-flop slippers while carrying his signature trademark Louis Vuitton handbag.
BY THABO MOKONE/TimesLive