Road block nets 35 state cars

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) has called for an in-depth investigation into the ongoing misuse of vehicles belonging to the government.

The fleet of vehicles are leased by the Eastern Cape provincial government at great cost from fleet management company FleetAfrica.

PSAM's advocacy head Adrienne Carlisle was reacting to the impounding of 35 state vehicles along the N2 road near Dutywa.

The vehicles were confiscated by the Butterworth police and provincial traffic officers from East London on Friday night during a road block.

"Those found responsible for this abuse should immediately face disciplinary action. If FleetAfrica is found to be culpable in any way in this abuse, it should face penalties in line with its contract with the Eastern Cape administration," said Carlisle.

Police spokesman Captain Jackson Manatha said some of the vehicles belonged to various government departments such as Home Affairs, Agriculture, Education and others.

"Some were caught with passengers who were not listed in their trip authorities [travel lists]. The 35 vehicles were impounded at Msobomvu police station. During a road block in June, also in Butterworth, 30 state vehicles were seized," he said.

Carlisle said that the ongoing misuse of state vehicles could be linked directly to departments' failure to invest properly in internal control and monitoring mechanisms. The Eastern Cape auditor-general has repeatedly raised concerns about the ineffective monitoring of the FleetAfrica contract, insufficient controls regarding fleet management and the complete lack of proper reconciliations by departments with regard to FleetAfrica claims.

"Until these issues are tackled, these vehicles will continue to be misused," said Carlisle.