ANC Mayor must put the people before R1-million luxury car

The newly elected Mayor of the Inxuba Yethemba Municipality, Ray Shweni, must put the needs of the people first instead of spending over R1-million of their money on a luxury mayoral vehicle for himself.

In a climate of fiscal consolidation and great poverty, there is no place for fat cat expenditure.

It is rumoured that Mayor Shweni is already spending R32 000 per month for the rental of a Mercedes Benz C180, until his fancy, latest model Mercedes Benz, valued over R1 Million is delivered to him.

Letters from the local DA to the Municipal Manager, Mzwamdile Tantsi, and the Mayor to verify the facts have gone unanswered. Why the veil of silence, Mr Mayor?

The lack of response by the mayor and Municipal Manager has now forced the DA to take up this matter on a provincial level. As the DA’s Constituency Leader responsible for the area, I will act vigorously for an intervention.

I have written to the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Fikile Xasa, to request an investigation into the matter.

The fact that Mayor Shweni prefers his mayoral benefits above the needs of striking workers’ demands for protective clothing to perform the basic service of refuse removal in Cradock and Middelburg, speaks volumes of an ANC mayor who is totally out of sync with the municipal budget and needs of the people.

The municipality finds itself in a precarious financial situation and the Auditor-General expressed disclaimers for the last three consecutive years.

The ANC-leadership in Inxuba Yethemba would do well to consider the example of the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, where Mayor Athol Trollip has prohibited the procurement of luxury vehicles.

Money that might have been spent on costly luxuries is now spent on improving service delivery in the metro.

In the DA-led City of Tshwane, Mayor Solly Msimanga put a stop to the purchase and lease of luxury vehicles for politicians.  Ten BMWs, purchased by the previous ANC administration, were donated to the Tshwane metro police.

This is the change the DA brings where we govern.

The DA will continue to fight for responsible spending of our limited financial resources by pushing for a review of the mayoral handbook to stop political leaders splashing out on costly luxuries.