The newly elected Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga say he will continue using the BMW 5 Series he inherited from his predecessor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, but will replace it with a cheaper car when it “retires”.
The vehicle have reached its prescribed lifespan of 100 000km in accordance with the regulations. It will retire to the government garage. “Most of the cars have passed the cap or are very close,” Msimanga said on Tuesday. He said he will replace it with a low cost model to carry the city’s first citizen around.
“I will not allow public money to be spent on luxury cars for politicians and senior officials, while our people struggle for services, houses and jobs.
“No more luxury cars will be bought or leased under my government and if vehicles currently owned by the metro require replacement, sensible and low-cost vehicles will be procured” . A Hyundai i20 or Toyota Corolla can do the same job for a politician as an expensive sedan.”he added.
Mayor Msimanga first banned blue lights for politicians and officials in the city in his first days on the job, including on his own vehicle.
Municipal leaders, including himself, he said, would from now travel alongside ordinary citizens and wait in heavy traffic, as well as stop at red lights.
He decided to redirect the 10 new vehicles with high-capacity engine power to the Tshwane Metro Police Department. They will serve in a newly-formed anti-hijack unit.
“Rather than using luxury vehicles for politicians, we will use them for a new unit in the metro police to prevent and respond to hijackings and high-speed chases because they have powerful engines and can be used for fast response. This puts the needs of people first, and not the needs of politicians first.”