The eMalahleni municipality in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga has cancelled the purchase of a R1.5 million Lexus vehicle for its new mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday claimed a win in the local government “Car Wars”‚ following a decision by the eMalahleni Municipality “to reverse the purchase of a R1.5-million luxury vehicle for its new mayor”.
“The money for this luxury vehicle was to be sourced from service delivery budgets. This is not only a victory for the people of eMalahleni but also for accountability and the principle that the people come first, not political elites,” said DA council caucus leader Naritha Naidu.
She noted that the “decision comes after the DA publicised this wasteful expenditure and called on (mayor) Lindiwe Ntshalintshali to reject the car”.
“The money for this luxury vehicle was to be sourced from service delivery budgets‚” Naidu added.
“The DA will continue to do everything possible to ensure that money that is meant for the people is spent on the people. We will not sit back and let the ANC squander public funds, especially when service delivery in eMalahleni is practically non-existent.”
The Sowetan reported earlier this month that the eMalahleni local municipality had decided to use a R1.5-million rollover budget from developmental projects to buy the car.
A report from Ntshalintshali’s office said a suitable vehicle for her has a “typical price range benchmark between R1-million and R2-million”.
Naidu said on Wednesday that this “is not the end of the road” and reiterated a call for the “mayor to suspend the municipal manager‚ Theo van Vuuren‚ pending the outcome of the corruption charges laid against him”
The party has‚ since the local government polls in August‚ embarked on a campaign to cut down on luxury vehicles‚ which included its executive mayor of the City of Tshwane‚ Solly Msimanga‚ rejecting 10 BMW 3 Series which were bought by his predecessors for use by the executive.