Mpumalanga premier’s R5 million car splurge a disgrace

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza’s R5 million expenditure on three luxury vehicles last year is a slap in the face of Mpumalanga’s poor.

According to reports, Premier Mabuza’s office last year purchased a Range Rover SUV, an Audi A8 as backup car and a BMW X5 for his bodyguards.

While the premier’s spokesman may defend the expenditure as necessary, and within the prescripts of the ministerial handbook, there should be no reason for splashing out on the largest and most luxurious sports utility and luxury sedans.

While the revised ministerial handbook has not yet been made public, the 2007 handbook clearly stipulates that a premier’s vehicle may not exceed 70% of the purchase price of his/her annual salary, and that they may only be provided with one official vehicle.

As the 2013/14 presidential determination puts a premier’s annual salary at R1,982 million, it means that premier Mabuza could only purchase one vehicle at a cost not exceeding R1,38 million.

The purchase is in blatant contrast of the premier’s portrayal of himself as someone who cares about the plight of Mpumalanga’s people. It is further proof that ANC politicians regard public funds as their own personal expense accounts.

We have submitted detailed parliamentary questions to the premier and each MEC to provide us with a breakdown on expenditure on official vehicles. We want to know:

  • When cars were purchased?
  • How much did they cost?
  • What brand and make are the cars?
  • Why was it necessary to purchase each car?
  • Why did Premier Mabuza need 3 cars in one year? Why was 1 car not enough?

There is no reason for the Premier to be driving around in R1.8 million cars when sedans of R500 000 are more than adequate. There is also no rational explanation for why he needed three new cars at the same time.

The DA will use every avenue within the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature to ensure premier Mabuza is held accountable for his indulgent behaviour.