Power for peo­ple, not horse­power for mayor

Pur­chase of lux­ury car for mu­nic­i­pal chief lam­basted

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - HEIDI GIOKOS heidi.giokos@inl.co.za @hei­di­giokos

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.

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