The Department of Communications intends to purchase two new vehicles for Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Deputy Minister Thandi Mahambehlala, despite the department’s risk of running out of money by the second quarter of the current financial year.
In a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Communications today, the Acting Director General (D-G), Basani Baloyi, indicated that the department is under severe economic pressure, and will likely run out of money by mid-year.
However, despite these financial pressures, the department intends to buy two new luxury cars for the Ministers.
The purchase of two new vehicles will place severe financial pressure on the department’s ability to fill vacancies and deliver on its mandate. The department states that the two new cars will be purchased at a minimum of R750 000 per vehicle, but as history shows, members of the executive have a penchant for splurging R1 million and above on cars.
The DA challenges the Minister and her Deputy to reject these purchases, as their priorities as new Ministers should be fixing a department and its entities currently in severe crisis, and ensuring that there is money to do so – not buying fancy new cars.
The department should have the following cars in its garage, which are more than good enough:
- 2014 BMW X5 XDrive 3.0D R926 310.00
- 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee R862 838.00
- Deputy Minister
- 2014 Audi A8 3.0TDI Quattro R852 041.00
- 2014 Audi Q7 4.2TDI V8 R882 250.00
The excuse that the Ministerial Handbook allows Ministers to purchase new vehicles once mileage has been reached does not hold water.
The DA will not stand for ANC Ministers living in luxury, whilst people remain trapped in poverty and unemployment. For this reason, the DA has laid out the challenge to Minister Dlodlo that she must reject these new luxury vehicles, and the Minister should do the right thing.
Given the tough economic climate in South Africa, if ordinary South Africans have to tighten their belts, so should Ministers.