Home News Mayor’s R1m car raises eyebrows

Mayor’s R1m car raises eyebrows

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“According to a council resolution it was costing the municipality much more money in terms of car hire and workshop repairs.”

UPGRADE: The Sol Plaatje mayors new Audi Q7.Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE MAYOR’S new silver grey Audi Q7, which comes with a price tag of R1 million, has raised eyebrows, as the Sol Plaatje Municipality remains cash strapped and is in dire need of a new fleet of vehicles.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) provincial secretary, Benjamin Mdhluli, slammed the extravagant spending on the luxury vehicle.

“All that the CC1 Mercedes-Benz E500 needed was a new battery to get it back onto the road. The municipality can ill afford such an expensive car. This is fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The mayor is building his own mini Nkandla at his house, while the municipality does not have any money,” said Mdhluli.

The mayoral vehicle was replaced after it was stuck for almost two hours in the OK grocery store parking lot in December.

The urgency for a new car was motivated by the high mileage of 190 000 kilometres on the 2008 model and that R1 000 was spent per day on car hire as the vehicle was constantly in the workshop for repairs.

The drivers indicated that the engine refused to ignite, even after a new battery was fitted.

This is while R6 million was allocated in the 2017/18 budget for the entire fleet replacement of the municipality and as of March, the utility trading services committee was still awaiting an updated report on the status of fleet management to be submitted.

It was noted that there were serious challenges relating to the replacement of the ageing fleet due to insufficient capital funding during the last annual report.

“This situation has impacted negatively on operational and maintenance requirements for visible service delivery sections.”

During the 2016/17 budget allocation, R4 million was budgeted for a sewer cleaning bucket machine, one light commercial vehicle, one refuse compactor truck, one panel van and two crew cab tipper trucks.

DA provincial leader, Andrew Louw, encouraged the Sol Plaatje Municipality to sell the mayor’s brand new Q7 and instead invest the R1 million savings towards purchasing municipal trucks.

“There are no trucks to deposit soil to form sand walls to waterproof the shanties in Santa as well as other informal settlements that are prone to flooding.”

DA councillor Reinette Liebenberg added that the party was awaiting feedback regarding the tender process followed, the amount spent on the car and the specifications of the vehicle.

Spokesperson for Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, said that the mayor’s new car was purchased as it had been approved by council.

“According to a council resolution it was costing the municipality much more money in terms of car hire and workshop repairs.”