IFP CALLS FOR AN INVESTIGATION ON MEC OF EDUCATION CAR HIRE

 

Mrs T.P Madlopha-Mthethwa,
KZN IFP Spokesperson in Education,
071 884 3844

 

The IFP urges the Premier Hon Sihle Zikalala to investigate the reports that the KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Hon Kwazi Mshengu has wasted tax payers’ money on car hire, because he did not want to drive his predecessor’s Mercedes-Benz. It is alleged that the officials working for the MEC forged a letter from a car dealership advising against driving the one-year-old Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 provided to him.

As the IFP we are totally against any political leaders who misuse public funds to fight their personal battles at the expense of the public. The Department of Education has more than once reported to the Education Committee that it has tight budget and it is unable to fulfil its mandate. It is then deeply disturbing that the MEC would be the one to misspend the same meagre budget on car hire for more than R90 000 every month. What is more disturbing is the lack of urgency shown by the KZN Education Department to have this matter fixed as soon as it was identified in May 2019.

The IFP demands answers on the following questions from the MEC and his Department:

a) Can the Department provide full information of each month’s rental payments since the first month of hiring the car?

b) Why the Department failed to procure a vehicle when it received reports that the old car was not road worthy?

c) Can the Department provide the proof and the details of the dealership that authorized the car being road unworthy?

d) For how long will the MEC continue to waste public funds on renting this car?

e) Didn’t the MEC and the Department find it wrong to rent a car for more than R90 000 per month since May? If yes, what did he do to deal with this issue?

f) Can the Department provide us with the details of the owner of the company from which this car is rented from?

g) How many other cars that are owned by the Education Department? Please list them according to their types.

h) Why was the MEC not assigned with one of them?

It is totally unacceptable that MEC of a department which has a tight budget would misuse funds in this manner. As we speak, we have hundreds of qualifying teachers whose qualifications are gathering dust at home, unemployed, because the Department claims that it does not have funds to hire.

The IFP view this as dishonest and deceiving act at by MEC. More so because this happened despite the calls by the Finance Minister Tito Mboweni warning public officials to curb their spending as the country faces a revenue shortfall.

We will also be accelerating this matter by formally writing to the Public Protector to look deeper on it. Heads must roll should anyone be found to have been illegally benefitting from this case.

Contact:
Mrs T.P Madlopha-Mthethwa,
KZN IFP Spokesperson in Education,
071 884 3844