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New Jacob Zuma Jet Could Cost R1.3bn

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Johannesburg – A plan to buy President Jacob Zuma a new private jet that could cost R1.3bn has been kept secret.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, the jet will be used for shorter trips across Southern Africa. The main jet, Inkwazi will be used for longer flights for both the president and his deputy.

The Sunday Times reported that this bid was not advertised as it was being tailored for a “specific supplier”.

Last year Fin24 reported on a bid to acquire a new luxury presidential jet at a price of R4bn. This is equivalent to 16 Nkandlas, which would each cost R246m.

However these plans were put on ice, in October last year, City Press reported. This was despite the fact that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had made an additional R143m for aircraft leases for the president.

Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor), which oversees arms procurement for the department of defence, said the tender process for the R4bn acquisition had been cancelled because none of the bids complied with the minimum requirements.

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told Parliament last year that there were still intentions to get Zuma a VIP jet.

The defence force had four executive jets, two of which were “unserviceable”, at the time News24 reported. These included the president’s current jet, a Falcon 900 for the deputy president, and two “unserviceable” Falcon 50s.

The president's jet cost R84 000 per hour to operate, and the Falcon 900 and Falcon 50 R54 000 per hour, Mapisa-Nqakula said.


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