Cars for all MPs? Pull the other one!

Issued by James Lorimer MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources
26 Aug 2022 in News

Earlier this month it was revealed that the Speaker of parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was taking delivery of two new 5 series BMWs costing some R1,5 million. In response to some adverse comment about the poor decision to spend so much on new cars, the spokesperson for Parliament Moloto Mothapo said; “The fleet is at the disposal of presiding officers, MPs, staff and guests who need to travel around Cape Town on Parliament related business.”

As I had a potential transport problem I decided to test the availability of the cars for MPs and I wrote to the Speaker asking to use one of the BMWs to attend some meetings around Cape Town connected with my parliamentary portfolio. The Speaker’s office acknowledged receipt of my letter almost immediately but then there was silence. The day I had asked to borrow the BMW came and went and still there was no response. Could it be that my request was a first, that the office did not know what to do, that no MP would ever be allowed to use the cars?

Unsurprisingly that seems to be the case and so the claim made by the spokesperson is false and the vehicles are, in fact for the sole use of the Speaker. Mr Mothapo should explain himself or withdraw his claim and apologise for misleading the country.

Nobody begrudges the Speaker a vehicle funded by the state, but this type of expenditure just two years after the purchase of 4 Land Rover SUVs worth R2.8m for her predecessor and other presiding officers to use, is unnecessary and wasteful.

This appears to be more evidence of the disturbing attitude of entitlement amongst the ANC elite. The lavish spending of state funds is seen as a right, even though government services to poor South Africans are not working, due in part to a lack of money.

I will be submitting written questions on these vehicles, who gets to use them and what they have been used for.