While the South African cabinet has prohibited extravagant expenditure, such as luxury vehicles, for government officials, the premier of North West, Thandi Modise, province has just bought a car worth R1,3 million (about $125 000).
The vehicle concerned is a high-end BMW 750i. South Africa’s black politicians can often be seen speeding along the highway in expensive black cars, surrounded by VIP escorts with flashing blue lights, burning taxpayers’ funds.
The provincial MEC for transport, Raymond Elisha, jas confirmed to the Sunday Times newspaper that such a car has been purchased by the province for use by Modise.
“No laws were broken,” he said. “The car was purchased in compliance with the ministerial handbook, which states that a car to the value of 70% of her annual salary can be purchased,”
With great fanfare, it was announced in October by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan that henceforth there would be a more frugal policy on vehicle prrocurement and travel by government officials.
But, according to Elisha, the decision to purchase the luxury BMW “had been taken long before the cost-cutting plans were announced”.
The provincial premier is on record as saying: “I do not determine whether a jet is procured or whatever. All I know is that I have been using a car that is constantly sent for repairs and finally I was told ‘we are buying a new car’.”