The executive mayor of the City of Tshwane‚ Solly Msimanga‚ has rejected 10 BMW 3 Series which were bought by his predecessors for use by the executive.
In the city’s response to TMG Digital‚ Msimanga said the new Democratic Alliance-led coalition government wanted to embark on cost-cutting measures to save the council from expenses that only benefit politicians.
In the statement‚ he said he had put an immediate stop to all purchases or leasing of luxury cars for politicians and senior officials.
“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. No more luxury cars will be bought or leased under my government.
“A Hyundai i20 or Toyota Corolla can do the same job for a politician as an expensive sedan‚” Msimanga said in a statement.
Thinking it would retain Tshwane‚ the African National Congress-led administration bought 10 new BMW vehicles for the members of the mayoral council with an estimated value of over R5-million.
Msimanga confirmed that he uncovered the procurement of new luxury BMW vehicles for politicians‚ concluded and paid out of public money by the previous administration.
However he has decided to redirect these 10 new vehicles‚ when they are delivered‚ to the Tshwane Metro Police Department‚ where they will serve in a newly formed Anti-Hijack Unit.
“Rather than using luxury vehicles for politicians‚ we will use them for a new Unit in the Metro Police to prevent and respond to hi-jackings and high-speed chases‚ because the vehicles have powerful engines and can be used for fast-response.
“This puts the needs of people first‚ and not the needs of politicians first‚” Msimanga said.
Msimanga has also banned blue lights for politicians in Tshwane‚ including on his own vehicle.
Meanwhile‚ the Sowetan newspaper reported on Tuesday that the Emalahleni local municipality in Witbank has decided to use a R1.5-million rollover budget from developmental projects to buy a new luxury vehicle for its executive mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali‚ to replace the current mayoral car — a Lexus.