The Democratic Alliance is calling for a moratorium on new vehicles for the Eastern Cape Premier, Members of the Executive, Speaker and Deputy Speaker, to save costs, after it came to light that more than R13.7 million has been spent on these vehicles.
It is preposterous that departments pay lip service to cost containment and cost cutting, but think it is okay to spend millions on vehicles for the executive.
This is part of my cost containment campaign, to realign the provincial budget around core priorities. This money could be better spent on providing services to the people of this province.
In response to a parliamentary question, MEC for Finance, Mlungisi Mvoko, said the 13 vehicles in question were procured between October 2017 and March 2019, and had totalled R13 720 265,92.
The bulk of these vehicles are Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro’s with an average price tag of over R900 000 per vehicle. The most expensive is a Mercedes Benz GLE 500, bought for the Premier’s Office, at a price tag of R1.482 million.
What is even more shocking, is that, according to MEC Mvoko, 11 of the 13 vehicles are scheduled to be replaced during the 2019/20 financial year.
The Ministerial Handbook clearly indicates that departments may only replace a vehicle if it has reached 120 000kms, is older than 5 years, or has serious mechanical problems.
Of the 11 cars identified by Mvoko as needing replacement, only one has travelled in excess of 120 000kms, and none are more than two years old.
It is for this reason that I have written to the Premier to request that he place a moratorium on the purchase of new vehicles for the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
Given our depressed economy as well as the state of the national and provincial fiscus, the Democratic Alliance believes a moratorium on the purchase of all new vehicles for the executive should be brought into effect.
Instead of incurring huge capital outlays to purchase new vehicles, government should consider stretching the useful life of these vehicles, by requesting the relevant department to extend their respective maintenance plans.
Our leaders must never forget they are elected by the people and must be close and accountable to them. South Africans deserve a government they can trust and that will responsibly spend every cent, to create opportunities for all.
Retief Odendaal MPL
DA EC Shadow MEC for Finance
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