MOKOPANE – Huge service delivery shortcomings did not stop the Mogalakwena Municipality’s Council to agree to purchase an expensive new set of wheels for the mayor.
Korny Dekker, DA Ward Councillor, said the poverty-stricken municipality agreed to purchase a R1 million luxurious vehicle for Mayor Andrina Matsemela.
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The DA has opposed the decision which was taken during a special council meeting last Thursday.
The mayor’s Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.6 L currently has 146 074 km on the clock and will reach 150 000 km soon. This warrants the purchase of a new vehicle, as prescribed by Salga regulations, Dekker said.
“Even though the DA agrees that the municipality should purchase a new vehicle, we believe a vehicle at the exorbitant cost of R1 million is an insult to the residents of Mogalakwena and to all poor South Africans.
“There are vehicles on the market for less than R1 million, that are safe and reliable. The purchase of a luxury car will be a waste of the people’s money which is supposed to accelerate service delivery within the municipality. The municipality should rather use the money to fix street lights, potholes in major roads and provide clean water in the rural villages where residents still share water with animals.
“It’s clear that the ANC-led municipality does not care about the poor but continues to place their self-interest before the interests of the residents.
“The ANC has chosen to put the lifestyles of politicians ahead of the dignity of the people,” Dekker said.
The DA will submit a motion in council and further engage the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Jerry Ndou, to block the purchase and instead apply the money to accelerate services to the people of Mogalakwena.
Malesela Selokela, Head of Communications at the municipality, said mayors may be supplied with any vehicle on the South African market which is affordable considering the prevailing financial constraints of the municipality and given that it had been approved by the municipal council.
The value of the vehicle should not exceed the mayor’s annual remuneration.
“The total amount for rent, repairs and maintenance is R385 182,77. The current vehicle is an obstacle in terms of the mayor performing her day to day duties and compromises her safety.
“Considering that the vehicle has reached over 146 000 km, this warrants the municipality to purchase a new vehicle. Council resolved to buy a new car for the mayor and an amount of R1 million has been allocated.”
He said the new vehicle will cost the municipality less than the amount budgeted for.
“The advert for a service provider will be issued in due course.”