New Boeing Business Jets for Zuma and Motlanthe

The South African  Department of Defence has issued a tender for two new VIP aircraft for President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe, following a problematic procurement process. It seems the President  will be more focused on foreign trips to advance South Africa's foreign policy aims especially with its recent boost in international profile with membership in BRICS, IBSA and UNSC. However there's been an out cry from local media and observers with many seeing this unwanted extravagance in a country still reeling from extreme poverty.

Parallels have been drawn with Western leaders who travel commercial to save their taxpayers money while South frica would like to comandeer 3 business jets for its top leadership. It seems maybe Zuma feels it's time to match Obama's Airforce One.
BB Interior
According to the Ministry of Defence, the department has not yet decided whether it will lease or buy the aircraft. South Africa's Sunday Tribune says the ministry of defence turned to the Treasury to help find R1.6 billion for the new aircraft.


"We are going to buy a plane for the president….The new, bigger plane is going to be responsible for longer international trips such as [to] Europe and America. The current one [a Boeing Business Jet] will be used mainly for domestic regional trips so that when the one is resting, we make use of the other one because right now if the [BBJ] breaks down, we have to go out and rent a plane," he said.

BBJ Concept Interior
In April it was announced that the South African Air Force (SAAF) would lease two Embraer Lineage 1000 VIP jets for five years from AdoAir, at a cost of US$120 million (R800 million). Then later in April it was announced that the lease plan was scrapped and the Air Force would instead on July 1 take delivery of a second Boeing Business Jet and a Bombardier Global Express XRS from ExecuJet.

That date came and went with no aircraft delivered. Then, on July 14 a request for quotation for a VIP transport lease was sent out to ExecuJet, SRS Aviation, Fortune Air, Interjet and AdoAir, with a return date of July 25. However, this was cancelled on August 5.

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