Sugar was found in the engine of the mayor’s car and a new one will now cost at least R700 000.

The DA in Gauteng said it was opposed to the mayor of Sedibeng district municipality, Lerato Maloka, receiving a brand new car at the cost of R700 000.

Need for a new car?

According to the DA MPL Kingsol Chabalala, the cash-strapped municipality has increased its budget to purchase a luxurious vehicle worth R700 000, despite residents facing serious service delivery challenges, such as access to proper sanitation and tarred roads.

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Chabalala said a report recently tabled in council indicated that the municipal capital expenditure budget for the 2023/2024 financial year will increase by R700 000 to make provision for the Executive Mayor’s vehicle because of the high-cost maintenance of her old Mercedes and car rentals becoming expensive and unfeasible to maintain.

“This is shocking as this municipality is in a financial crisis and unable to provide constant basic services to its residents, and hence cannot afford to spend money on a luxury vehicle that is unnecessary and a waste of ratepayers’ money,” Chabalala said.

Revelations about luxury car

Chabalala said the DA in 2022 discovered that the R696 611.99 Mercedes-Benz GLB (X247) that was purchased for the mayor was gathering dust at the municipality’s offices after she allegedly refused to use it, claiming it was not what she ordered.

“The same unwanted car broke down due to a foreign substance, allegedly sugar granules, found in the engine, estimated to cost the municipality R398 000 to repair,” Chablala said.

He added that the Sedibeng mayor has cost the financially collapsing municipality R140 000 in vehicle expenses in less than three years.

“This money would have been better spent on fixing pothole-ridden roads and poor sanitation, as raw sewerage is flowing all over the streets from the main sewer system because the municipality is failing to repair sewer lines,” Chabalala said.

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He said the mayor must reconsider her priorities.

“She cannot continue to put her interests ahead of those she is constitutionally obliged to serve.”

The DA said it will table follow-up questions to the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Mzi Khumalo, to determine whether a probe into the foreign substance found in the mayor’s car has been launched and if anyone has been held accountable.

The Citizen has contacted the Sedibeng District Municipality for comment. This article will be updated as soon as comment is received.


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