News / South Africa

Alex Japho Matlala
3 minute read
12 Jun 2018
6:45 am

Limpopo execs cruise in luxury while the poor live in mud huts

Alex Japho Matlala

The cars worth R8 million 'were bought with the aim of speeding up service delivery and ensuring the security of the premier and his MECs.'

Limpopo premier Stanley Mathabatha. Photo: Gallo Images

Limpopo premier Stanley Mathabatha, along with seven of his MECs, are cruising around in new luxury vehicles, while more than 7 000 poor families in the province will brave the winter in mud houses or shacks.

Limpopo is regarded as the second-poorest province in the country after Eastern Cape and has a total population of about 5 .8 million.

The Democratic Alliance is outraged, accusing Mathabatha of putting status and power above the interests of those who elected him.

This comes after Mathabatha’s office confirmed the premier was driving around in a luxurious Audi Q7.

“The car was bought last month, replacing the old 6.6-litre Jeep Grand Cherokee which had already reached the maximum 120 000km, as per the prescripts of the ministerial handbook,” said Mathabatha’s spokesperson, Kenny Mathiba.

The new vehicle cost R1.1 million. Several of the province’s MECs also splurged on new vehicles, which cost taxpayers about R8 million.

The extras in the vehicles are believed to include sun roofs, tinted windows, maintenance plans, metallic paint, blue lights and electrically deployable tow bars.

Mathiba said the vehicles were bought with the aim of speeding up service delivery in the province and ensuring the security of the premier and his MECs.

“According to the ministerial handbook, vehicles could be replaced when they reach 120 000km. The new vehicles should be less than 70% of their salaries and none of the MECs and the premier contravened the clause,” said Mathiba.

Mathiba added: “In 2009 and 2016, we have lost two MECs, Pandelani Ramagoma and Joy Matshoge, on the road. The province is still mourning and we don’t want to risk more lives.”

Although Mathiba said he could not see anything wrong in buying the new car for the premier, the DA said the purchase proved Mathabatha’s administration was in urgent need of intervention.

“We cannot fold our arms when Mathabatha is leading the province beyond repair,” said the DA’s provincial leader, Jacques Smalle, yesterday.

“The money used to buy the cars and extras could have been best used to improve the lives of the poor people in the province.”

Economic Freedom Fighters Limpopo provincial secretary Jossey Buthane likened Mathabatha to a pig.

“You have almost 10 000 poor families without a proper roof over their heads but the misguided Mathabatha chooses a sunroof for himself,” said Buthane.

However, human settlements spokesperson Paina Galane said the department planned to build 7 450 rural and urban RDP houses, 215 community and residential units and 150 houses for military veterans, at a cost of R1.4 billion.

INFO:

Who got what in battling province

Some of the MECs in Mathabatha’s administration who are believed to have new vehicles include:

  • Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba, who spent R1.2 million on a V6 Range Rover Sport 3.0 SC, including extras;
  • Transport and community safety MEC Makoma Makhurupetsa, who spent R1.2 million on a Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d, including extras;
  • Sports, art and culture MEC Onicca Moloi got a Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d, at a cost of R1.2 million;
  • Economic development MEC Seaparo Sekoati got a VW Touareg 4.2 TDI, including extras, at a cost of R1.1 million;
  • Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe bought a new Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d for R1 1 million;
  • Human settlements MEC Jerry Ndou paid R1.1 million for a Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d, including extras;
  • Agriculture MEC Joyce Mashamba got a Mercedes-Benz ML 350 Blue Tec, with extras; and
  • Finance MEC Rob Tooley got a Lexus RX 350 EX at a cost of R783 000.
  • All the new vehicles, including that of Mathabatha, allegedly cost more than R8 million.

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