One new SA mayor has promised to give away a fleet of new luxury cars that had been ordered by his predecessors. Solly Msimanga, the SA mayor in question, took control of Tshwane, a metropolitan area that includes the capital Pretoria.
Solly Msimanga, of the Democratic Alliance (DA), took over from a predecessor who was in the African National Congress (ANC) party, in the local elections which were held recently.
Rejecting the luxury fleet of cars which had been ordered by his predecessors who apparently thought that they would remain in power, he has said that he will pass the vehicles on to a police anti-hijack unit.
He will, however, continue using one luxury car which had been used by the previous mayor. The cars in question purchased by the ANC are 10 new BMW 3 series vehicles. According to local reports, they went for 5 million rand ($356,000) and are yet to be delivered.
The cars had been meant for members of the mayoral council when the ANC had been confident of retaining control of the province in the elections. The car which the new mayor has said that he will continue using is also a BMW 5 series car he inherited from the previous mayor, reports the IOL website.
Speaking to the BBC, Solly Msimanga’s spokesman, Matthew Gerstner, said that the vehicle could not “be dispensed with because it’s been bought and paid for already and treasury regulations prohibit that” adding, however, that “as soon as he can replace it, he will, with a sensible, low-cost vehicle”.
Mr Msimango says the DA-led coalition government wanted to embark on cost-cutting measures. He shared in a statement sentiments that included the fact that “No new luxury cars will be bought or leased for politicians‚ and if vehicles currently owned by Tshwane require replacement‚ sensible and low-cost vehicles will be procured.”
“I will not allow public money to be spent on luxury cars‚ while our people struggle for services‚ houses and jobs…A Hyundai i20 or Toyota Corolla can do the same job for a politician as an expensive sedan.”
Seeing as the ANC national government has been criticized for wasteful expenditure, the eyes of the people will be on the DA-led coalition government to see if they will do things differently in the urban areas they won in the August elections.