by Harold McGluwa MPL – DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson & Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus
Date: 30 November 2017
Type: Press Statement
The DA is calling for a speedy investigation into a suspicious incident whereby a government official crashed a departmental vehicle into a school yard. See a photo of the damaged vehicle here.
The incident occurred in Upington, in the early hours of Saturday morning, after a school Christmas party. The driver of the vehicle, who is believed to be a senior official in the Human Resources division of the Education Department’s district office, ran away after he drove the vehicle through a fence at Franciscus Primary School.
The DA is concerned by the ongoing misuse and abuse of state vehicles and has on numerous occasions reported wrongdoing in this regard to various departments.
Provincial government has indicated that it has a hotline on which members of the public can report abuse of state vehicles. They have also installed tracker devices into fleet vehicles. Despite this, however, officials continue to treat these vehicles as their own personal taxis.
The DA is of the view that sterner consequent management needs to be applied in order to act as a deterrent.
There is no reason why the official should have attended a Christmas party in a departmental car. He must be disciplined and should be held liable for damages to the vehicle and the school infrastructure. He should also be criminally charged for absconding from an accident scene and, if alcohol was involved, he should be further charged for driving under the influence. Those who booked the car out to him must also be investigated for possible negligence.
The DA will write to HOD of Education, MEC Martha Bartlett, asking her to launch an investigation into the matter. We will also request that she institutes more checks and balances in the management of the departmental fleet.
State vehicles have an important role to play in implementing government’s programme of action. Accidents involving these vehicles, however, are not only inhibiting officials from doing their work but they are also costing government thousands of rands that could be better spent on service delivery.
Harold McGluwa MPL
DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson & Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus
082 440 1779
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387