UP till now artists and sports stars from the Northern Cape had constantly missed out on national opportunities due to the vastness of the province. This could now be a thing of the past, thanks to the acquisition of 17 new vehicles, at a cost of R7,2 million, by the province’s Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. The vehicles are to be used for the needs of the community and will contribute to the development of a revived province. At the launch, the MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, said the vehicles will help people in the Northern Cape make use of opportunities that come their way and not be excluded because of the vastness of the area.The fleet consists of double cab bakkies and six new 22 seater mini-busses.The fleet launch was a response to the various requests for financial assistance for transport from schools, sporting codes, artists and drama groups who must represent the Northern Cape. “These vehicles will therefore help in relieving the parents of our future sport stars and artists of the transportation costs to the various tournaments and drama festivals and shows.“As the ANC-led government, we want to ensure that our children participate in sport and we do not want to deprive them of representing their schools and provinces at the highest level and therefore we will continue to ensure that we put measures and systems in place so that we can assist. “The purchase of the 22-seater mini-busses is but one of the measures we have put in place to assist in ensuring that our children are not deprived of participating in sport,” explained Mbinqo-Gigaba.According to the MEC, the most important aspect of this new fleet is really the practical implementation that will enable the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture to deliver services in the most rural and remote towns of the province.“These vehicles have exclusively been procured to improve services to all our people. These are working tools acquired to deliver on our respective mandates. They are not for your personal use. It would be grossly irresponsible to use them for any other purpose than executing our official duties,” she warned the departmental officials.“We will under no circumstances allow misuse and will come down hard on those in violation of this rule. “We therefore call upon you as the community to report instances of abuse and especially if you see these vehicles parked at shebeens or liquor outlets. Take the registration number and let us know,” she emphasised.“As a department, we will act. If officials want to contravene the rules around using government vehicles, they must bear the consequences.“Therefore, I implore the users of these vehicles, to please take care of them as if they were your own.