Times of Swaziland
19 June 2008
Rented cars to cost EBC over E29 000 per day
BY INNOCENT MAPHALALA
MBABANE – The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is using a fleet of more than 70 hired vehicles to carry out its daily duties.
The commission will be paying a minimum of E425 per car each day for as long as it uses the cars.
This means that the commission will be required to pay not less than E29 000 (more than 4,000 US Dollrs) per day to use the sedans, vans and kombis.
The EBC has a budget of more than E23 million for the current financial year.
It was appointed on Thursday, March 6, 2008 but it was not immediately clear at what point exactly they started using the hired vehicles.
It has been established that the commission, which, according to the constitution, is independent, requested the assistance of the Central Transport Administration (CTA) in making transport arrangements.
The CTA is a government garage that operates alternately as a parastatal and government department. It has a contract with Comprehensive Car Hire, a company based at the Industrial Sites in Mbabane. Comprehensive Car Hire won a tender to supply government with hired vehicles for various national activities.
The company’s vehicles are at times utilised by various government ministries.
This newspaper has proof that Comprehensive charges government at least E425.99 for each of their cheapest cars per day.
The most expensive car, a Mercedes S-Class, is charged at E1 814 per day.
These amounts exclude accident charges and insurance excess, which has to be paid for each hired vehicle.
Mzwandile Fakudze, EBC Deputy Chairman, confirmed that the commission was using vehicles they hire through the CTA.
"Normally, the cars would have come from the Central Pool but instead, we were given hired ones. We got them from the CTA," he said.
He referred further questions to CTA management. Polycarp Dlamini, General Transport Manager, said they had given the EBC "over 70 cars."
"We gave them rented cars because government does not have cars anymore," said Dlamini. "There are too few SG (Swaziland Government) cars now and the EBC wanted to continue with its operations, so we had no choice."
He said the elections body, led by Chief Gija Dlamini, would pay for the hired vehicles through the CTA.
Dlamini said the EBC had given them a list of vehicles they would require and the cars were allotted according to the list.