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City mayor to get a blue light

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In terms of the draft policy blue lights must be kept in both the Mayor’s and the Speaker’s vehicles for emergency circumstances

TRANSPORT: Seen here with the Sol Plaatje Mayor and Speakers vehicles are (from left): Tebogo Cidizaas, Gerome Leshou (both drivers) and Brutus Nero (Mayors protector).

THE MAYOR’S official vehicle, a R1 million Audi Q7, will be equipped with a blue light for emergencies.

It was pointed out yesterday that the last replacement vehicle was a Mercedes Benz E500, which was procured in 2009.

According to a report drawn up by the CFO, Lydia Mahloko, the old vehicle had accumulated 191 000 km and had been giving technical and mechanical problems to a point that, in the current year, the municipality had to hire a replacement vehicle to ensure that the Mayor was able to fulfill his responsibilities.

In terms of Salga’s Mayoral Handbook, the official mayoral vehicle must be replaced after 150 000 km “which has for a long time been significantly exceeded”. It was also pointed out that the Municipal Manager had invited bids three times in the past for the replacement of the current vehicle with no success.

“Accordingly tender processes were followed and the award was made on November 15 2017.”

The vehicle specifications was for a SUV and not for a specific brand, Mahloko pointed out, adding that bids were received for a Mercede Benz, BMW, VW Tourag and an Audi from various bidders.

“Audi and Mercedes Benz complied to all specifications and the award was made for the Audi after all the SCM (Supply Chain Management) processes were followed at R1 044 262.63 (excluding Vat).”

The vehicle formed part of the Fleet Replacement Project for 2017/18. Other units purchased included 1t LCVs, 4t crew cab tipper trucks, HD slasher, tractor, ride-on mower and a sewer cleaning machine.

A separate report, drawn up by the Municipal Manager, points out that the Sol Plaatje City Council does not have a policy for the official vehicles of the Executive Mayor and the Speaker, and a draft one has now been drawn up and tabled.

In terms of the draft policy blue lights must be kept in both the Mayor’s and the Speaker’s vehicles for emergency circumstances.

According to the recommendation for the approval of the draft policy, it is pointed out that emergency situations for the activation of the blue lights and siren includes a life-threatening situation and illness while in the car and family emergency to be attended to while on duty far from home.

“Traffic congestion does not necessitate the activation of blue lights or the siren,” the report states.

The draft policy states that the cars of the Executive Mayor and Speaker vehicles must be according to the types of roads and road conditions in the municipality. The Mayor and the Speaker must be consulted on the “type” of vehicle preferred (SUV or executive sedan) and this must be approved by the Bid Specification Committee.

“The size of vehicle shall be medium to large with a limited capacity of four passengers, excluding the driver.

“The maximum cost of procuring the Mayoral and Speaker’s vehicles will be determined by budget availability and within the affordability levels of the municipality.”

The vehicle must be replaced when it reaches a mileage of 150 000km or 5 years, whichever comes first.

No passengers, other than the Mayor/Speaker, their spouses (to official functions), the bodyguard (where applicable) and the driver, will be transported in the vehicle for official purposes.

“The mayoral/speaker’s vehicle will be the mode of transport for the Mayor and Speaker to any official function or to any meeting which the Mayor is delegated to attend or to any other meeting at which the attendance of the Mayor and Speaker in their official capacity is required. The vehicle may not be used for any other purpose.”

Municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, pointed out yesterday that the new vehicle was a municipal asset and not for the mayor personally. “It is replacing a vehicle that was almost 10 years old and serviced four mayors, namely Patrick Everyday, Agnes Nthlangula and David Molusi before the current Executive Mayor.”

Matsie also denied rumours that the old vehicle only had a faulty battery.

“Mechanically this vehicle had reached its lifespan. The guidelines provided by Salga also determines when the mayoral vehicle can be replaced and the procurement of the new vehicle is in line with these guidelines.”

“In the past, the municipality had a total of five expensive vehicles in the mayoral fleet. The first mayoral car of Kimberley was, in fact, a Bentley, which was purchased in 1964 and is now at the Open Mine Museum.”