DA Calls on uMhlathuze Municipality to come clean over the procurement of a R600 000 SUV

Issued by Councillor Sihle Magubane – DA City of uMhlathuze Chief Whip
14 Feb 2021 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA)  in the City of uMhlathuze has written to the Municipal Manager, Lulamile Mapholoba, requesting that they share with council details of the procurement of a luxury BMW X1 to the tune of R600 000.

According to the municipality, this vehicle is in replacement of another which was involved in an accident.

At the Executive Committee meeting held on the 10th of February, city officials failed to disclose what the vehicle being replaced by Council was used for; and the intended use of the new replacement.

Our questions to the Municipal Manager, include the following:

  •         Which department and section were utilising the vehicle before its accident?
  •         What are the recorded courses and actions taken by council after the accident including but not limited to disciplinary or investigation?
  •         The status of the insurance claim.
  •         The intended use of the vehicle.

The Democratic Alliance believes the car is either for the Mayor, Cllr Mduduzi Mhlongo, or another senior political office bearer, a purchase of which has largely been hidden behind administrative red tape.

This latest scandal comes as the city is plagued by community protests and civil unrest, with Esikhawini residents fed up with years of empty promises from the ANC and Mayor Mhlongo

While we strongly condemn the illegal protests and the destruction of municipal property we, however, sympathise with the community. The DA has consistently been vocal over the complete collapse of institutional capacity within the municipality, brought about by the ANC and its band of deployed cadres.

The municipality needs to come clean with ratepayers and disclose whom the luxury vehicle is for.

When enquiring about the purchase of this vehicle, the Mayor accused the DA of meddling in administrative issues. In what has become synonymous with ANC governance, the ANC exerting its majority through authority and refusing to debate the matter. Ultimately, EXCO not only approved the item but actively prevented proper engagement and oversight on municipal expenditure.

The fact remains, SUV’s especially BMW’s are the sole preserve of political office bearers in the City, and the suspicious SUV that has been hidden, coupled with the mayor’s refusal for accountability raises more questions

It would be a shame if it were confirmed that while the city burns the Mayor, or any political office-bearer is splurging on luxury cars at the expense of deprived ratepayers struggling with rates under this pandemic, which has been handled disastrously by the same ANC at national.

The city is currently faced with protests, shutdowns, and blockades following months of water interruptions, sporadic power failures, and a general collapse in service delivery.

To add to that, Esikhawini is in a crisis and some people were alleged to have had cases of diarrhoea after they drank water contaminated with diesel supplied by the Municipality.

We want to know if the ANC cares so little, that they have forgotten about the people and chosen to self-indulge as they preside over the decline of our city.