City’s cars too much

2014-05-27 00:00

A HOMELESS organisation has questioned the eThekwini Metros need to purchase new luxury vehicles excessive.

But the city has defended its need to fork out R2,6 million on the six new automobiles and said it has even managed to cut the bill down by R1,2 million by taking less expensive models. Even the DA — who often disputes city purchases — has lauded the “frugal” method of purchase.

But Abahlali baseMjondolo — a homeless and shack dwellers lobby group, said it is a “waste of taxpayers money” and that mayor James Nxumalo should buy his own car.

But the city has said its purchase habits are among best practice when compared to the country’s other metros (see graphic).

According to the council, keeping the current six-year-old fleet would cost the council more money in repairs and maintenance than buying new vehicles. In a statement the Metro said the current fleet consists of vehicles that have “clocked up to 388 000 km and prone to mechanical breakdowns” and that the replacement adheres to the National Treasury directive for a “conservative approach in the purchase of municipal vehicles”.

The statement also said:

• The BMW 750i (current identical model will cost R1, 101 972) will be replaced with either the BMW 520d at a cost of R498 380 or a Mercedes Benz E200 Elegance at a cost of R542 037;

• The Toyota Land Cruiser 200 VX (R980 020) will be replaced with the a Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.6 Overland at a cost of R588 999;

• The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (R665 487) will be replaced by the Toyota Fortuner 3.0 at a cost of R410 780

City speaker Logie Naidoo called the vehicles an “asset to the council”.

“The demands placed on the mayoral office are huge, with several hundred invitations to functions each month being received by his office and his need to visit various parts of the city.

“If a person is delegated to represent the mayor at an event they must have access to these cars. If we have foreign dignitaries or mayors we must be able to offer them a vehicle,” said Naidoo.

Even DA councillor Heinz De Boer said he was “grateful” that the city intended to swap a “BMW 7 Series” with a “BMW 5 Series”.

“I just hope all the vehicles are treated with respect,” he said.

But Abahlali baseMjondolo — which supports the Democratic Alliance — said the civil servants earn enough to pay for their own vehicles.

“The political heads earn enough money to buy and use their own vehicles. Why should they have new luxury vehicles when there are people who still live in shacks. This money could be used to provide shelter for the poor,” said the organisation’s chairperson Nono Majola.

V Logie Naidoo

“The demands placed on the mayoral office are huge, with several hundred invitations to functions each month being received by his office and his need to visit various parts of the city.”

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