Ngwako Modjadji
2 minute read
23 Jan 2017
6:50 am

DA calls on mayor to cancel luxury Merc purchase

Ngwako Modjadji

The Mercedes-Benz C-class was bought despite the municipality owing Eskom R92 million.

Benz C 350 e. Picture: www.hybridcars.com

Mamsie Tsoene, mayor of the Mantsopa municipality in the Free State, has become the latest ANC mayor to be criticised for purchasing a R500 000 vehicle for official use.

The Mercedes Benz C-class was bought despite the municipality owing Eskom R92 million. Eskom has threatened to cut power to defaulting municipalities. Yesterday, the DA called on Tsoene to focus on saving every possible cent to spend on service delivery, which is critical.

“Buying a new Mercedes-Benz is simply unacceptable. The DA appeals to mayor Tsoene to do the right thing and cancel the purchase of the vehicle. It is time to put the people first and not the ANC’s own personal interests,” DA ward councillor Tania Halse said.

“The municipality struggles to provide people with clean and safe water. Graders, refuse removal trucks and other vehicles are either broken down, or so old that they need replacement. Pot-holes are not filled, and roads in many communities are in a precarious state and sewage is flowing in the streets,” Halse said.

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Irregular expenditure at the municipality for the period July 1 2015-December 31 2015 amounted to R846 465.75 due to the supply chain management policy not being adhered to. Tsoene defended the decision to purchase the car, saying the mayor’s office didn’t have a car. She said the vehicle was budgeted for and is a standard vehicle.

“There are no extras on the car because we didn’t want to be extravagant. What does the DA expect us to do?” she asked.

Last year, ANC mayors like the Greater Tzaneen municipality mayor in Limpopo, Maripe Mangena, were in the news for splashing out millions on luxury vehicles. DA mayor of the City of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, has rejected 10 luxury BMW 3 Series which were bought by his predecessors for use by the executive.

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