Hadebe ‘using cars for personal matters’

2018-02-19 13:45
One of the council cars alleged to have been taken over by the city manager, Sizwe Hadebe, for his personal use.

One of the council cars alleged to have been taken over by the city manager, Sizwe Hadebe, for his personal use. (Supplied)

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Donated vehicles that were meant to accelerate service delivery have become a source of discontent for Msunduzi officials, who allege that some have been taken over for personal use.

Last year the Department of Transport donated 192 vehicles to Msunduzi. The first batch of 145 arrived at the beginning of June, and another 47 were transferred to the City in July.

Sources within the municipality alleged that the city manager, Sizwe Hadebe, has helped himself to the use of three of the cars.

“I know that he has taken over an Audi A3. I haven’t personally seen him driving it but his bodyguards are always using it and it parks in the parking bay assigned to him at the City Hall,” said one official.

He said no other City official was allowed to drive it except his bodyguards.

Another source alleged that Hadebe has also taken over a VW Golf 7 and a BMW X5.

“I don’t think he is the only one that took these cars as manna from heaven. I bet some councillors are driving around in them but no one is going to tell on them because the City manager is also using cars,” the official said.

He said other senior officials are bitter about it and think it is unfair for him to get the use of “free cars” when he can afford to buy his own vehicles.

“This thing is not going to serve him well when it comes to relations with the officials. It’s also bad for his reputation — he’s already unpopular with most people,” added the official.

Two other sources at council also said it was common knowledge that Hadebe’s bodyguards used the Audi to ferry him around.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha denied the allegations. She said all of the cars have been included in the City’s asset register.

“There are no cars that have been taken by any member of the municipality for personal use. All cars have been allocated for business use,” she said.

According to Mafumbatha, some of the vehicles had minor accident damage but the majority were in a fair, satisfactory condition when they were donated. She said only four had engine damage.

At least 117 of the vehicles have purchase orders done and Mafumbatha said 75 are still to be taken for testing in order to obtain their certificates of roadworthiness.

The City has spent R2,2 million on the repairs, branding, licensing, fitting tracking systems and fitment of a fuel management system into the cars.

Mafumbatha said that once fixed, branded and fitted with the necessary equipment, the vehicles will be split and sent to different business units.

She said the plan was to divide them among “traffic and security for public safety, utilised by waste management supervisors to monitor the cleanliness of the City, meter readers and revenue enhancement sections to optimise the City’s revenue, roads department to fix the potholes, parks and recreation for grass cutting and water and sanitation for war in water leaks”.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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