Seeking to lead by example‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa took an economy flight on South African Airways (SAA) from Cape Town to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo international airport.
Ramaphosa‚ returning from parliament where he answered questions from MPs on Wednesday‚ was photographed settling into a economy class seat while busy on the phone‚ a newspaper in his hand.
His spokesperson‚ Ronnie Mampoepa‚ said Ramaphosa took an ordinary commercial flight to Cape Town on Monday and returned the same way.
“As a political leader you (have) to make tough political choices. In such an economic climate‚ it would include the use of economy class‚” he said.
“That was his preference but it was done within the context of being prudent with state resources‚” he said.
“The deputy president was expressing confidence in SAA‚ in a state-owned enterprise‚ to deliver a quality service.”
Mamoepa said Ramaphosa had flown commercial on various international trips‚ including Sweden‚ Mexico and South Sudan.
Last month‚ Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was lauded for taking an economy class flight to Johannesburg after delivering his budget speech in Parliament.
Gordhan has repeatedly stressed the importance of government cost-cutting to assist South Africa’s ailing economy.
While Gordhan preferred an aisle seat‚ Ramaphosa was seen to be a window man.