KZN MECs go for big, bling beasts

2009-07-13 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL provincial government MECs know the meaning of “go big or go home”.

SUVs or 4x4s are the name of the game when it comes to the rides of these politicians as most MECs cruise the province’s roads in these big luxury vehicles.

These cars are built for comfort and can manoeuvre on most terrains.

The exceptions to this rule though are Premier Zweli Mkhize and the MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, Lydia Johnson, who cruise around in a Mercedes Benz S350 and Audi S8 quattro respectively.

The S350 may look somewhat like a baby compared to the S500 which Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele received as a gift from emerging contractors and had to send back.

The S350 costs an estimated R700 000.

It’s a slick German machine with high performance.

Johnson’s S8 is also a high-performance monster and probably the fastest of the cars these MECs drive.

This car can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just under six seconds.

The S8 costs between R900 000 and just over a million rand.

Finance MEC Ina Cronje waltzes around in a Land Rover Discovery 3.

The car is affectionately known as the Disco 3 and it offers several options: it can steadily pass through mud, slippery sands and rocky terrains.

Don’t be fooled by its size — the Disco picks up like the small cars do with an engine that can kick up to 156 kw and more, depending whether it’s a V6 or a V8.

The entry-level Disco is priced at almost R450 000 and the V8 between R510 000 and R570 000.

Four MECs chose to navigate the province in the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.

It’s the car of choice for the MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works, Maggie Govender, MEC for Social Development Meshack Radebe, Senzo Mchunu of Education and Weziwe Thusi, MEC for Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation.

The Prado may cost no less than R440 000, but it is a force to be reckoned with.

It has all-wheel-drive specifications, diff lock, a five-speed manual gearbox and a power output of no less than 96 kw, and some come fitted with satellite navigation systems.

The fashionable Bheki Cele, MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, by virtue of his position, cannot be seen in a slow car and the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is anything but.

It is one of the the quickest and most powerful cars in the Jeep range — an SUV with street-racing credentials, which zooms from zero to 100 km/h in just under five seconds and can take less than 20 seconds to reach 160 km/h from zero.

It can bundu-bash, speed and it looks slick.

Cele’s SRT8 is also fitted with magnesium-alloy rims. This monster is valued between R650 000 and R700 000.

Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo is said to be cruising around in a new Dodge model from the American-based automobile company.

The doctor reportedly rides in a Dodge Journey valued at over R300 000.

The Journey does not look tough from the outside, but it can hold its own in bundu bashing.

Mike Mabuyakhulu, MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, is sporty in a Range Rover Sport.

This car is slick, sexy, comfortable and a beast.

This car means that one has reached the top.

The Range Rover Sport SUV generally comprises a six-speed automatic transmission, leather seats and interior but one has the option of inserting a TV in this sporty ride.

The MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Willies Mchunu, drives around in a Mercedes Benz ML 500.

This car, valued around R700 000, is not only luxurious, but it’s a freak when it comes to speed.

The car is roomy and comfortable, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

 

The MECs’ vehicles range in price from about R440 000 for the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado to at least R900 000 for Rural Development MEC Lydia Johnson’s Audi S6.

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