The Democratic Alliance (DA) – led City of Tshwane municipality says it will not remove the blue lights from the official vehicle used by the executive mayor of the capital because it is expensive to do so.
This is despite Tshwane Metro executive mayor, Solly Msimanga’s ban on blue lights in vehicles used by politicians and officials in the Tshwane metro shortly after his inauguration as the executive mayor in August this year.
“Blue lights will be a thing of the past in the city. The only person who will have blue lights will be the president of the country. Gone are the days where publicly elected officials will think they are VIPs. The only VIPs will be the people of the city,” said Msimango at the time.
Last month, Msimanga’s spokesperson, Mathew Gerstner, also issued a media release to the effect that the city had also banned blue lights, even for the executive mayor.
“Msimanga has also banned blue lights for politicians and officials in Tshwane, including on the Mayor’s own vehicle,” said Gerstner.
When shown a picture of the Msimango’s official vehicle bearing the blue lights Gerstner said the mayor had inherited the vehicle with blue lights and that it would be expensive to remove the lights.
“Mayor Msimanga has categorically stopped the use of blue-lights in Tshwane for all politicians and officials. Blue-lights were installed into City vehicles by the ANC previous administration, and vehicles were inherited by Msimanga’s administration with blue-lights installed. The potential cost to the residents of Tshwane for the professional removal of the blue-lights does not justify removing them when they are banned from being used by Mayor Msimanga anyway,” said Gerstner.
African National Congress spokesperson, Tebogo Joala, however said Msimanga’s decision to ban the blue lights was rash and that it was catching up with him.
“He has learned the hard way that blue lights are not a luxury, but a minimum security measure. The cost of removing those things (blue lights) is as cheap as removing a fuse from a fuse box. He can do it himself, so there are no costs,” said Joala.
Msimanga was hailed for the decision to ban blue lights and the purchase of luxury vehicles.