Should the premier get a new car?

Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

According to Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s spokesperson, Brian  Setswambung, the premier “got stuck on the road once again on Saturday evening when the steering wheel of his government vehicle – which has now clocked over 170 000 km – locked while the premier was being driven on one of the roads in the province’s small ‘dorpies’.”
He said Mahumapelo’s relief vehicle, which he also inherited from a former premier, picked him up but also “got stuck in the middle of nowhere on Saturday before he could reach his destination.” He then had to travel in the backup car provided by the South African Police Service for VIP protection in order to reach his destination.
Setswambung said it was clear that both executive cars cannot cope with the villages, townships and small dorpie (VTSD) economic conditions of the province and that these inconveniences caused by the official and relief vehicles are clearly beginning to have an adverse impact on his work as premier of the province.
He said Mahumapelo has insisted on using two old official vehicles that he inherited from his two predecessors, Thandi Modise and Maureen Modiselle. “The second vehicle has now reached over 250 000 km. This is the second time that Premier Mahumapelo’s official vehicle has left him almost stranded because of its condition,” he said. “This despite the SAPS VIP Protection Unit warning Premier Mahumapelo that using old cars that are way beyond the prescribed 120 000 km and tend to be unreliable, can put both his life and those of his protectors at risk.”
He said although the Ministerial Handbook allows the premier to change his car once it has clocked more than 120 000 km, Mahumapelo is of the view that the people of the province need to play a role and guide him on when they believe it’s the right time for the provincial government to procure a new official car.
“Mahumapelo has insisted that as part of exemplary leadership, all MECs in the province should purchase vehicles not exceeding R600 000, even if the ministerial handbook provides for an amount that exceeds R600 000. The premier believes that the people of North West must see what public representatives go through when they are left between a rock and a hard place because they want to do their jobs, but at the same time ensure that public funds are used with care. Unfortunately, as politicians we get easily projected as and accused of being corrupt as soon as government procures official vehicles for us. So we have to demonstrate to the people we serve that it’s not about living fancy lives and that even with old cars, we can do our best to serve them. The struggle continues,” said Mahumapelo.

Daleen van Manen

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