The misuse of vehicles and travel claims that continue to surface in municipalities serve as a real test to the ANC on how to deal with rogue mayors and high ranking officials who enjoy the high life on taxpayers’ money while service delivery remains poor. What we needs is a Rolls Royce administration in this province not public officials driving around in flashy cars.

The continued looting of state coffers displays an attitude of entitlement that beggars belief in a province that is suffering under the yoke of poor service delivery.

It was reported in the media today that the office of the OR Tambo District Municipality Mayor Dingaan Myolwa allegedly paid over R500 000 in luxury vehicle hire in two months. In addition R225 000 was paid for repairs and purchases on petrol cards were misused for other purposes. This follows closely on reports in June that Buffalo City Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha allegedly spent almost R800 000 of ratepayers’ money on luxury vehicles and hotel accommodation for events that did not appear on her official diary.

In the context of a particularly poor municipality these allegations are a scandal of mammoth proportions.

While these incidents are regularly exposed, the ANC is yet to take any action. This makes a mockery of any commitment to good governance and pro-poor policies. Stop protecting your deployed cadres and start getting rid of the rot that is causing the slow pace of service delivery in the Eastern Cape.

I have been informed that reports that a multi-party committee had been appointed to investigate the accusations against the Mayor’s office are not accurate, as he had obtained a court interdict against the committee, preventing it from getting any investigation off the ground.

I will write to the MEC for Finance and Provincial Planning, Phumulo Masualle, to ensure that this matter is fully investigated and that the report by the specialised audit service of the national treasury, as well as his department’s own report be tabled before the legislature’s portfolio committee of finance.

The OR Tambo District Municipality is one of the poorest in the country. We cannot allow that a single sent of money for service delivery be wasted.

This latest incident will be a crucial test for the ANC as to how it deals with this type of corruption on a administrative and political-party level.

What cannot be allowed to happen is a repeat of the R760 000 luxury vehicle debacle in Tlokwe Municipality, where the ANC chose to protect the Mayor and the councillors who were unhappy with him were fired instead.