The DA is concerned by the proposed purchase of a R900 000 car for the new mayor of Gamagara, Edwin Hantise.

We concede that the old mayoral car, which was acquired in 2012 and has travelled 233 710 kilometers, does need to be replaced as it is costing council excessive amounts in repairs and also indirectly in the subsequent hiring of an alternative vehicle for the mayor.

We do not, however, agree that it is necessary to purchase a luxury vehicle to the value of R900 000.  A good, but slightly less opulent model would do the same job and still ensure that Hantise can carry out his responsibilities in the respective community but at the same time, it could save the municipality hundreds of thousands of rands that could instead be invested in pothole repair, infrastructure development as well as improved waste management practices.  In residential areas of Mapoteng, mountains of refuse are a common sight, posing a serious environmental threat to the local residents.

The DA has issued a written notice to the Municipal Manager and all councillors regarding additional information that we require with regards to the proposed purchase, including the type of vehicle that has been earmarked for the mayor and the use of the official vehicle. DA councillor, Charlott Joseph will also table a motion with notice at the next council meeting, whereby the DA will request that a policy to regulate the purchase and use of the mayoral vehicle must be adopted.

The DA will resist attempts by council to approve the purchase of such a costly car for Hantise.

Gamagara municipality has a culture of financial mismanagement and wasteful expenditure while residents suffer without proper services. This planned R900 000 splurge is another blow to the poorest residents of Gamagara and must be stopped.