Purchasing new luxury cars for Ministers shouldn’t “be a political football or headlines in the media” says Deputy Minister Mahambehlala.
The Deputy Minister’s assertion follows the revelation of the Department of Communications’ intent to buy new luxury cars for Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and her Deputy; Thandi Mahambehlala.
You’ll recall that BuzzSouthAfrica recently reported that the Department of Communications will likely run out of money by mid-year but, will spend the little money available on purchasing the luxury cars.
The report was about the Democratic Alliance (DA) agitation against the move to buy the luxury cars for Deputy Minister Mahambehlala and Minister Dlodlo.
DA pointed out that the department is under severe economic pressure, and will likely run out of money by the second quarter of the current financial year. As such, the party upheld that it’s not alright for the department to go for the new luxury cars when it’s in in deep financial pressures.
The party argued that the purchase of two new vehicles will place severe financial pressure on the department’s ability to fill vacancies and deliver on its mandate.
Thus, DA tasked Deputy Minister Mahambehlala and Minister Ayanda Dlodlo to reject buying the luxury cars. “Their priorities as new Ministers,” the party said, “should be fixing the department and its entities currently in severe crisis, and ensuring that there is money to do so – not buying fancy new cars.”
Reacting to the agitation against the move to purchase the cars, Deputy Minister Mahambehlala at yesterday’s communications portfolio committee meeting, contended that buying Minister new cars shouldn’t be politicised.
“In terms of cars,” started the Deputy Minister, “there are no cars bought by the department yet for us. All cars I’ve inherited as Deputy Minister exceeded the mileage. The car in Cape Town exceeds 150 000 kms.
This should not be a political football or headlines in the media. The protectors are complaining it is not correct to drive these cars,” she finished.
But, DA’s Phumzile van Damme wouldn’t buy Deputy Minister Mahambehlala’s sentiment. “If you say to the public a three-year-old car is not safe, they won’t buy it. I don’t buy it,” Van Damme said.
“In these tough economic times, everyone must tighten their belt. This department must set an example,” charged the DA MP.