Power for people, not horsepower for mayor
Purchase of luxury car for municipal chief lambasted
The mayor should spend every cent on services
THE DA is up in arms over the alleged spending of R500 000 on a Mercedes-Benz for the mayor of the Mantsopa municipality in the Free State.
In a statement released yesterday, the party claimed that mayor Mamsie Tsoene should not be buying such an expensive vehicle while Eskom was threatening to cut electricity supply to the municipality, which is R92 million in arrears.
“The mayor should be focused on saving every possible cent to spend on service delivery. A new Mercedes-Benz is simply unacceptable,” said DA councillor Tania Halse.
Mantsopa is one of five municipalities defaulting on their payments across the country, with Eskom having warned these areas that if they don’t pay up, they’ll lose power.
“The DA appeals to mayor Tsoene to do the right thing and cancel the purchase of the vehicle. It is time to put the people first, and not the ANC’s own personal interests,” Halse said.
She added that service delivery was at crisis levels in Mantsopa.
The municipality is believed to be struggling to provide residents with clean and safe water.
The DA has said it wished to help the area in providing services to its residents.
“This is the change that we want to bring to Mantsopa. This is change that creates jobs, delivers better services and stops corruption. We will continue to work tirelessly to make sure that this happens,” Halse said.
She said many streets did not have lamps, and sign boards were illegible.
“Sewage is flowing in the streets. People are forced to live with garbage due to inconsistent collection of refuse. A total of R3 764 525.57 was lost in wasteful expenditure,” she noted.
Meanwhile the DA in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, has also hit out at mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali after it was reported that a luxury R1.5 million SUV was being bought for her.
“The municipality recently advertised a tender for the supply and delivery of the luxury vehicle for the mayor despite growing pressure from the community to stop the purchase and focus on improving the municipality’s declining status,” said eMalahleni local council member Naritha Naidu last week.
According to the DA, the mayor of eMalahleni was failing to demonstrate decisive leadership.
“Instead, she’s demonstrating that as long as she and her cronies are still able to drain municipal coffers for their own benefit, the people of eMalahleni do not matter,” said Naidu.
Ntshalintshali has, however, told The Star she had decided to put on hold the decision to purchase a R1.5m mayoral vehicle.
The eMalahleni municipality owes around R900m to Eskom.
After numerous attempts, The Star was unable to get comment from Mantsopa municipality by the time of publication.