The Western Cape Minister of Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie, has confirmed that his department purchased a fleet of 50 3-series BMW motor vehicles.
He said the parked vehicles are part of their replacement fleet.
"The vehicles were procured towards the end of 2022 from the National RT57 State contract, which is used by all three spheres of government, to replace the existing, ageing fleet and to meet added transport demands," he said.
Ricardo was responding to the allegations by the EFF in Western Cape that his department procured the vehicles worth millions just to park and gather dust. Another issue that the party raised was that the cars were purchased but their purpose was not seen in any way.
The EFF alleged that since the procurement, the vehicles have been parked for more than a year at the Gene Louw Traffic College “for decoration”.
"The procurement was a fruitless and wasteful expenditure worth millions just to gather dust," it said.
Ricardo said the department’s Government Motor Transport (GMT) Trading Entity, responsible for the procurement of fit-for-purpose vehicles for all Western Cape departments, procured the vehicles before the end of the 2022 calendar year to avoid the annual price increases that came into effect in the new year.
Giving clarity on the delays, he said that when the vehicles were delivered, the process of preparing them for use in the traffic law enforcement space was initiated.
The preparation included fitment of reflective markings and branding, installation of the latest emergency lights and sirens and in-vehicle technology such as number plate recognition (ANPR) camera solutions for traffic law enforcement purposes.
"The fitment of any technology that integrates with the electronics in new vehicles must be approved by the manufacturers and BMW advised the department that certain components that had been approved for previous models would no longer meet their standards for retaining their warranty on the new models. This required GMT to embark on a tender process to procure the new fittings, rather than risk losing the warranty," he said.
Ricardo assured the citizens that processes were already well advanced for the fitment of all vehicles and the matter was being treated with the urgency it deserved.
The party also accused the DA of corruption, white-collar crimes, mismanagement of state resources, asymmetric distribution of resources, racism, and other anomalies that continued to undermine the poorest of the poor.
It said the mistaken belief that the Democratic Alliance (DA) was running a "clean government" in the WC proved nothing but a curated PR stunt whose intention was to mislead the residents of the province.
The EFF said it was suspicious for a government to purchase a fleet worth millions of South African taxpayers' money for decoration while the province has high levels of road accidents, inequality, and asymmetric distribution of resources.
The red berets said this was a clear case of mismanagement and abuse of state coffers by the DA-led government. "This is a fruitless and wasteful expenditure that must be fully investigated," it added.
The EFF called on Mackenzie to resign with immediate effect and Winde to take full responsibility for the wasteful expenditure.
The party said it will do an oversight visit to the traffic college where the unused BMW vehicles are parked.