President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ’emergency’ trip to Egypt may have cost the taxpayer something close to a million rand.
The Presidency announced, on Tuesday morning, that Ramaphosa was due in the Arab Republic of Egypt on a work assignment.
What’s Cyril Ramaphosa doing in Egypt?
The visit, according to the president’s office, was an urgent one, as Ramaphosa had to make an appearance at the African Union Troika Summit.
The key issue that was tabled at the summit was ” the political and security situations in the Republic of Sudan and Libya.”
“President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has called the Emergency Summit in his capacity as Chairman of the African Union. The AU Troika consists of Egypt, current Chair; South Africa, incoming Chair; and Rwanda, outgoing Chair.
“The Summit will also be attended by the AU Commission Chairperson, Mr Moussa Mahamat Faki who is expected to report on the AU initiatives undertaken to resolve these crises. Mr Faki has just concluded a visit to Sudan,” the Presidency noted in a statement.
Since South Africa is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Ramaphosa was compelled to board the presidential Inkwazi 737-7ED — a Boeing business jet — and made the 6 405km trip to the northern edge of the continent.
How much did this trip cost the taxpayer?
This trip, like any other, came with a hefty bill for the public purse. After carefully combing through dozens of pages, this is our estimated cost of the president’s return trip.
According to the South African Air Force, the Inkwazi’s build is based on the Boeing 737-700.
It is “primarily used to transport the South African President and his entourage.”
The aircraft’s nine auxiliary fuel tanks provide a maximum capacity of 40 530 litres of fuel.
A full tank of Jet A1 fuel would, according to Top Speed, give the Inkwazi around 10 425km of range.
Considering the fact that a litre of Jet A1 fuel costs R11.83, we estimated that it would cost around R471 363.90 to fill the Inkwazi for a one-way trip to Egypt.
Based on these estimates, a return trip would typically cost the taxpayer something close to a million rand.
This excludes all maintenance and service work that needs to be performed on the aircraft before it takes off.
Moreover, since it is literally impossible to calculate, we did not include the leisure costs involved in these trips.
A conference call would’ve sufficed.