New MECs, no new bling needed

Bobby Stevenson, MPL

Shadow MEC for Finance

The DA in the Eastern Cape will be keeping a close eye on whether the new MECs in the province will follow the example of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene or whether they will give into the temptation of “blinging” in new cars.

The executive council needs to set an example when it comes to luxury expenditure.  This province is experiencing a decline in funds from the national government (equitable share) and every cent must go towards service delivery.

In a province with high levels of poverty and unemployment, our MECs should be examples of sober austerity instead of excessive opulence.

According to press reports Minister Nene will be retaining the official vehicle that was used by his predecessor, Pravin Gordhan.

However, it remains to be seen whether any of the MECs in the Eastern Cape will resist the temptation of new luxury vehicles that can race across the province in pompous, blue light convoys.   The over generous guidelines of the ministerial handbook is a convenient excuse to justify extravagant vehicle purchases in excess of R1 million instead of sticking to the austerity measures set in place by ex-Finance Minister Gordhan, of R600 000.

I have submitted legislature questions for written reply to the premier, in order to determine if new vehicles will be bought and at what price.

The DA believes that the ministerial handbook should be amended so that the matter of new vehicle purchases can be properly regulated.