Umvoti splurges on vehicle

2018-05-24 16:35
R1,7 mln spent on mayor's car.

R1,7 mln spent on mayor's car. (Supplied)

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One of KZN’s underperforming councils, Umvoti Municipality, has splashed out close to R2 million on a bulletproof mayoral car.

Insiders said the Greytown council, which was ranked 183rd out of 234 on a scale from worst to best performing municipalities by Good Governance Africa, has spent a whopping R1,7 million on a new luxury mayoral SUV.

The new BMW X5 to be used by Mayor Thamsanqa Ngubane is said to be fitted with a bulletproof body. Ngubane had previously used a top-of-the-range Jeep Cherokee SUV.

The excessive expenditure comes as the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is trying to restrict councils from buying expensive cars for politicians through new regulations. Once gazetted, the cost for official council vehicles for politicians will be restricted to R700 000.

DA constituency leader in Umzinyathi Sizwe Mchunu said if it was true that the vehicle was fitted with a bulletproof body, it would be unheard of for a mayor to be driven in a bulletproof car.

“Not even MECs are driven in bulletproof cars. It will be unnecessary expenditure,” he said.

Mchunu said the money spent on the mayoral car should had been spent on service delivery-related issues. “This is an absolute insult to the people of Umvoti. It is very disturbing that a municipality like Umvoti, which is facing so many financial challenges, is spending such huge amounts of money on a mayoral car.

“I intend on taking up this matter with Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube,” said Mchunu.

DA councillor in the municipality Rajan Maharaj has written to municipal manager Sphindile Ngiba, asking for a total breakdown of costs associated with the purchase of the new vehicle.

IFP caucus leader July Mweli said the council had not followed regulations in purchasing the new vehicle. “As we are sitting here, we do not know how much was used in buying that vehicle and from which vote was that money taken from because they bought the car without obtaining the approval of the full council.

“We are responsible for the use of the taxpayers’ money and we need to know how much was spent on this purchase,” he said.

Mweli said they had filed a motion to be discussed during the municipality full council meeting scheduled for next week, asking the for the procedure that had been followed during the purchase of the vehicle.

Ngubane declined to comment. Melusi Maphanga, who speaks on behalf of the municipality, did not respond to queries.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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