THE Eastern Cape police have settled their more than R1-million debt with General Motors South Africa (GMSA) and five Port Elizabeth breakdown companies.

The Herald revealed last month how four high-performance vehicles donated to Port Elizabeth’s Flying Squad unit by GMSA had been gathering dust at their Crawford Street headquarters in North End as the police had failed to pay R160 000 owed for repairs and maintenance fees.

Police also owed about R1-million to five towing companies – Gear World Towing Services, Crash Towing Services, H&Q Towing Services, BNS Towing Services and Car Towing Service – contracted to transport vehicles from crime scenes.

Safety and Liaison MEC Helen Sauls-August said in response to a question by DA safety and security spokesman Bobby Stevenson that all the debts had been paid.

“The slow payment was caused by the Mount Road accounting SCM [supply chain management] failing to renew the Global FA [Financial Authority] after it lapsed,” she said in a written reply.

In response to Stevenson’s query on the cars, Sauls-August said GMSA had failed to inform the police that the warranty for the cars had expired.

“It was only realised at a later stage that the SAPS must cover the financial costs, hence the delay in payment for maintenance fees,” she said.