Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga rejects South Africa luxury cars

Published by BBC
On 7 September 2016 saa 06:56
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A new mayor in South Africa has rejected a fleet of luxury cars he inherited from his predecessors.

Solly Msimanga, from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), said the vehicles would instead be given to a police anti-hijack unit.

The DA took control of Tshwane, a metropolitan area which includes the capital, Pretoria, from the ANC in recent local elections.

Mr Msimanga said no more luxury cars would be bought under his leadership.

He took over from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which lost control of the capital for the first time since 1994, last month.

The ANC bought 10 new BMW 3 series vehicles, which are yet to be delivered, for 5 million rand ($356,000; £266,000), local reports say.

The cars were meant for members of the mayoral council, with the ANC said to be confident it would retain control of the municipality in the elections.

Mr Msimango says the DA-led coalition government wanted to embark on cost-cutting measures.

"No new luxury cars will be bought or leased for politicians‚ and if vehicles currently owned by Tshwane require replacement‚ sensible and low-cost vehicles will be procured," he said in a statement.

"I will not allow public money to be spent on luxury cars‚ while our people struggle for services‚ houses and jobs," the statement read.

The ANC national government has been criticised for wasteful expenditure, so South Africans will be closely watching what the opposition do differently in the key urban areas, they won in the August elections, says the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

South Africans will be keen to see if the opposition, which has until now only run one province, will be able to make good on its ambitious election promises, our correspondent says.

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The ANC ordered the cars, believing it would be re-elected