DA wants more bang, less bling for the DoD


The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the defence department is in the process of acquiring eight brand new Mercedes luxury vehicles, at a combined value of between R3.9-million and R7 million and its defence spokesman says the military needs “more bang and less bling.”

This will mean that more than R50 million has been spent by this government on purchasing luxury vehicles, DA MP David Maynier says. He adds the defence department is in the process of acquiring:-
· one C class automatic Mercedes-Benz sedan vehicle valued at between R350 000 and R900 000;
· four E class automatic Mercedes-Benz sedan vehicles valued at between R480 000 and R1.17 million each; and
· three Mercedes-Benz 23-seater buses valued at between R420 000 and R485 000 each.

The DA MP says between R3.9 million and R7 million is about to be spent on a brand new fleet of luxury vehicles, most probably for use by VIPs, at a time that the defence budget has been cut by R2 billion and the military say they do no have enough money to operate or maintain prime equipment. “The defence department complains that defence spending is too low to properly pay soldiers, maintain bases and operate equipment, and yet it is spending between R3.9 million and R7 million on a fleet of luxury vehicles,” Maynier says.
“This raises very serious questions about spending priorities within the defence department, and will further diminish confidence in the department’s ability to properly manage its resources. This development comes hot on the heels of the news last week that wasteful expenditure across government in the last nine months has topped R1 billion, including R47 million on luxury vehicles.”