Despite reports of the Limpopo economic collapse, BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that an ANC mayor serving in one of the municipalities in Limpopo Province got for himself a luxury SUV worth R1.1 million.
According to a report by the Democratic Alliance, the mayor of Musina Municipality in Limpopo province purchased a brand new Mercedes Benz ML350 SUV, despite the municipality’s limping economy and service delivery backlogs.
The opposition party noted this, saying it has written to Limpopo Cooperative Governance MEC, Makoma Makhurupetje, to investigate wasteful expenditure after Mihloti Muhlope purchased the vehicle for R1.1 million.
The provincial government had in December last year, made mention of Limpopo’s Economic Collapse citing six municipalities that are on the verge of financial collapse, needing urgent bailouts,
These municipalities include Vhembe, Mopani and Sekhukhune district municipalities and the Bela Bela, Musina, and the newly-established Lim 368 local municipalities.
Provincial government spokesperson Phuti Seloba, at the time, told reporters that these municipalities were under “serious financial pressure” with Lim 368, Bela Bela and Musina risking a financial collapse if they did not get money soon.
However, the Musina was the municipality entitled to get help from government immediately. It was supposed to get R20m.
The municipality is on the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe and has been earmarked for economic growth.
Despite this economic fallout, the DA said the Musina Local Municipality mayor chose to satisfy his unwarranted desire at the detriment of his people.
According to DA Councillor in Musina Local Municipality, Elliot Magwira, the opposition party challenged the decision during a council sitting on 25th January 2017.
“The ANC arrogantly used its majority and voted in favour of buying a luxury Mercedes for the mayor, rather than committing money to service delivery,” Magwira said.
“The money could have been spent to finish the sports centre in Musina extension 6 in Harper, solve the sanitation crisis in the urban area where water is flowing on the ground whilst all roads that lead to town are damaged with potholes,
“The ANC government continues to put ANC cadre’s self-interest and luxury first, before the interests of the residents of Musina.”
Speaking further about the Limpopo Economic Collapse, the Democratic Alliance reiterated calls for a mayoral handbook at local and provincial levels to ensure that the limited municipal resources are not spent on expensive luxury vehicles or lavished on unnecessary expenditure.
“We will further submit a motion in the next council meeting and ensure that the money is well spent on accelerating the services to the people of Musina,” Magwira said.
Meanwhile, a South African economic analyst suggested that the country’s economy would bounce back to its feet only when President Jacob Zuma and those working for his government leave.
The analyst said this citing the country’s low growth trap caused by lack of confidence in the Jacob Zuma government and as such, investment is suffering.
In the quest to avoid a downgrade, it is imperative that Gordhan should be retained as minister of finance until Zuma leaves, the economist said.