Mayor rents Beemer at R60 000 a month

Johannesburg - The struggling Madibeng municipality in the North West is renting a BMW at R2 025 a day for the new executive mayor.

The total rental cost for the month for which it plans to hire the car is close to R60 000, but it could be more, depending on how much it is driven.

The mayor, Mpho Poppy Magongoa, apparently started using the car on Monday or Tuesday.

The Madibeng municipality - which includes Brits, Hartbeespoort and surrounds - was under administration for the past 18 months. After the recent municipal elections, this status lapsed automatically.

'Temporary arrangement'

Municipal spokesperson Patrick Morathi said on Tuesday that the BMW was hired from Avis but that it was only “a temporary arrangement”.

According to him the former official car, a Range Rover 4.2, had several problems which made it unsafe.

It was bought in 2009 with a 100 000km or three-year service plan.

"So far, it has driven 88 000km,” he said, but added that the brakes were faulty and the car “vibrated” when it drove at 120km/h.

The Range Rover has apparently been taken for repairs several times but according to Morathi, it is still not fully repaired.

The municipality wants to sell it and buy another official car for the mayor.

The BMW will provisionally be hired for just a month, said Morathi.

It appears to be a BMW 523i, but Morathi couldn’t confirm this.

Not budgeted for

Eddie Barlow, a DA councillor in Madibeng, said the municipality had not budgeted for the rental of a BMW.

"Apart from the monthly car hire, the municipality has to pay R4 per kilometre for every kilometre that the mayor drives over 300km a day. That could easily happen when she drives to Mahikeng, for instance. Petrol costs are then still added to this,” said Barlow.

Avis’s luxury fleet could not give rental fees for the BMW 523i, but said the BMW 528i was rented out at R2 130 per day, with possible kilometre cost excluded.

An extensive audit of the Madibeng municipality carried out in 2010 brought to light mismanagement of project money to the tune of R100m.

Senior officials, among them former municipal manager Philemon Mapulane, were axed.

According to Barlow, ratepayers owe the municipality about R500m as a result of the poor payment of services.
 
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