Date:16 December 2016 - By: Ndivhuwo Musetha
When Vhembe's executive mayor, Cllr Florence Radzilani, came into the office on 26 August, she found that R1.5 million had been allocated to buy her a new official vehicle as the current one is already old.
Instead of being excited about this, she shocked her supporting staff when she chose to postpone the purchase of the car and suggested that the budget should be used to buy four or five bakkies to be used by the people who work on water maintenance. She said that she took the decision after she realized that the people working on the water schemes around Vhembe were struggling to serve the community during emergency calls, as they did not have enough vehicles to travel to the affected areas.
"When I visited the three water schemes, Thathe Vondo, Damani and Mutale, I discovered that all of them had many challenges. One of these challenges was a shortage of vehicles. On all the schemes, the workers said they failed to respond to the communities' reports of burst pipes or other challenges, because they do not have cars.” She said that she believed that the provision of the vehicles would go a long way to help them do their job more easily.
The spokesperson for the municipality, Mr Matodzi Ralushai, said that the procurement process was already under way to make sure that vehicles were purchased as soon as possible. "Cllr Radzilani used her executive powers to take this humble decision and we commend her for putting the people first. It was also agreed that the executive mayor's new vehicle will be bought during the 2017/18 financial year,” he added.