E200m for new govt vehicles!
MBABANE – Government is set to spend over E200 million purchasing a fleet of government vehicles.
These will include royal escort cars and several other models of vehicles to be used by the various government ministries and departments.
Ntuthuko Dlamini, Minister of Public Works and Transport, has appealed to the nation not to be surprised when they see new cars being transported into the kingdom through the border posts.
He said government will be replacing all its vehicles that have exceeded the five-year period on the road.
Over 800 cars will be replaced.
The minister says among vehicles to be purchased are those used to escort Army Commander Sobantu Dlamini, Correctional Services Commissioner Isaiah Mzuthini Ntshangase, Commis-sioner of Police Isaac Magagula and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Themba Masuku.
He revealed this information in an interview with the Times SUNDAY.
The minister, who left the country on Tuesday for Nigeria and is expected back today, said the entire purchase will cost an estimated E200 million.
However, he said since gove-rnment will be buying in bulk, they hope to get discounts from the car dealership.
Though he refused to give the exact number of royal escort cars that would be replaced, he however said almost the entire royal escort fleet was now old and needed to be replaced.
He explained further that the old vehicles would be sold through public auctions from which government expects to recover a portion of the money.
The minister stressed that government has already secured the money to be used for the purchase of the fleet.
He said the Central Transport Administration (CTA) had a Trading Account from which the funds to purchase the vehicles would be sourced.
The money kept in this fund was collected through auctions conducted by the CTA, a government garage.
"The ministry is embarking on an exercise to replace the royal escorts and government vehicles that have been on the road for more than five years. Vehicles that will be replaced include His Majesty the King’s escorts, Indlovukazi’s escorts and escorts for Emakhosikati. We are also hoping to replace the DPM’s escorts because they are now too old," he said.
The minister said government wanted to replace the vehicles because they were now too costly to maintain. He made an example of the DPM’s car, on which government now spends close to E15 000 monthly in maintenance.
"It is now too expensive for government to maintain all the vehicles that have been on the road for over five years," he said.
He said his ministry would not consult other ministries while carrying out the task because it was solely responsible for transport.
He said his ministry had a right to purchase and replace without consulting.
Consultation is only done if a ministry or department wants a new car.
"We use our own discretion and the ministries do not put requests for the cars," he said.
"People should understand that we are not adding new vehicles but we are purchasing to replace the old ones. Again, the cars we are buying belong to government," he said.
The minister said the public should expect a series of auctions from which government would sell its old cars.
These auctions will be conducted by the CTA and the money collected will be remitted to CTA’s Trading Account.
Government has a total of 3 099 vehicles but at the moment, only 1 945 of these are being used.
About 1 162 cars have been grounded because of fuel shortages.
Government needs E30 million a month for fuel to keep its entire fleet operating but it currently only affords about E10 million.
This has resulted in the introduction of the fuel rationing exercise.
Through this exercise, government claims to be saving E20 million in fuel costs a month.
Nine bakangwane sentiwani kani laveni laSobhuza? Silambe nje sinjena kepha kutsiwa kunetimoto letitotsengwa? Cha akuhambi kahle why kungalungiswa those letashayisa tichubeke tisebente? With that money how many people labangasitwa? Akuhambi kahle its time we face the truth. Government utsi ute imali mara unayo yekutsena timoto. People are hungry langaphandle. This government seyidlalile ngatsi its enough its time we do something about it.
Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 AM, sithembiso babe bheem...
Thank you Mr Editor,i seriously dont understand each and every step of Gvt henceforth.for 4yrs they mean 2 tell us there was no money 2 buy at least 50 cars annually?then now in times of confusion,where people need them most bt they abandon them bcs of those who a in cloud 9.shame 4 al 804 cars,this desolate country ,gubhela kwesabo, blind is what d gvt is
Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 AM, QM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
President Madam Banda has shown us the way, then why do we mantain our egos when the money is not there that we fail to give 4.5% to workers? Let me tell you plainly, what you are busy fueling public anger. You rob us thru VAT to fund your fleet even your airplane. Time is trickling and very soon we will be seeing more of Marc Ravalomanana's type, seeking refuge everywhere.
Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 AM, Animal farm
Based on the comments of the Minister of Works, the fleet of cars will be bought from a foreign country like South Africa. Why can't gov't buy from the local car dealerships so that the E200 million which is about to be ill-spent, at least gets to circulate within our local economy to create jobs and more tax revenue for gov't. The logic of gov't beats me really. They talk of campaigns to "Buy Swaziland" and "economic empowerment", "towards competitiveness" and such like. But they're first to break those rules. On top of that, who said cars must be replaced every after 5 years anyway? What's wrong with a 7-year old car as long as it's looked after and serviced regularly. To me, this E200 million expenditure is gov't's way of telling the tax paying public to go and stuff it. At a time when people are starving and the elderly are going without food, and when teachers can't get even a measly 4.5% increment, gov't sees it fit to go on a shopping spree for 'executive toys' in foreign countries. I give up. What have we done to deserve this? Gov't must tell us so that we can apologize with immediate effect. Oh, before I forget, I think Minister Ntuthuko's boss will be angry at the manner in which he responded to your questions. Speaking "out of turn" again? .
Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 AM, Without A Conscience (email@example.com)
In this country we are told there's no money. But alas! we can still buy E200m cars. Ngabe lo 200m ulengangakuphi, nabo thishela batotikhelela? Also why adding more cars, when they will run out of petrol as we have seen previously? Now that’s funny, at least for me. This is a joke. A very funny joke!
Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 AM, Sifiso Nsibande (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do we really need cars while there are protest actions. So our government is lying when it says it does not have money. I hope this waya waya could turn into wafa wafa. Money is there but only for the selected few. Cars, REALLLLLYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!
Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 AM, Lwazisto (Lwaziprivate2011@gmail.com)
It is better they are replacing not buying new cars, at least the money will be recovered through the auction of the old cars.
Jul 22, 2012, 7:31 AM, Astute
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