The new mayor of Tshwane, the South Africa metropolitan area which includes the capital, Pretoria, has rejected the fleet of luxury cars bought by his predecessors for politicians and senior officials.
Solly Msimanga, from South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), said the vehicles would be given to the police department instead, as part of a new anti-hijack unit.
The DA took control of the municipality in local elections last month – and is the first time that the governing African National Congress (ANC) has lost control of the capital since the end of apartheid in 1994.
South Africa’s Business Day newspaper quotes Mr Msimanga as saying that no more luxury cars would be bought under his leadership:
“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. I will not allow public money to be spent on luxury cars‚ while our people struggle for services‚ houses and jobs. A Hyundai i20 or Toyota Corolla can do the same job for a politician as an expensive sedan.”
According to eye witness, the ANC administration in Tswane had bought 10 new BMW 3 series vehicles for members of the mayoral council, with an estimated value of more than 5m rand ($358,000, £266,000).