Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has welcomed new cost-cutting regulations for municipalities from National Treasury but believes the measures should be extended to include provincial and national government.
According to Plato, the City of Cape Town is already well within the parameters set out by National Treasury’s cost-containment regulations so not much work will be needed to comply.
“We are already cost-cutting. I do not have a major problem with the request by the national minister,” Plato said in an interview with John Maytham CapeTalk.
“The fact of the matter is that we do not drive around in BMWs costing R700 000-plus. We drive around in ordinary motor vehicles costing much, much less than that – Toyota Corollas and so on.
“Our mayoral committee members cart into the office in their own private vehicles and it is only in exceptional cases that mayoral committee members get fetched at home. If it is an early morning meeting in the community or an event, that sort of thing.”
Extend the rules
While Plato acknowledged that there are definitely municipalities that need to tighten their belts, creating new rules for all municipalities while ignoring problems at the provincial and national government level is a mistake.
“On the other hand, to impose all of these things only on municipalities, there was nothing said about the provincial government, who are also struggling across the country. Wasting money, wasteful expenditure and driving around in expensive motor vehicles.
“And then the national government itself. They should’ve started with themselves.”
He believes the reason municipalities are being targeted is to take focus away from large amounts of money that are being spent elsewhere.
“It is to shift the blame by imposing all these dramatic rules on municipalities. I think national should begin to look at themselves as well and what is going on there with regards to expensive trips and the costs of vehicles that side.”