President Ramaphosa's cabinet cars: What SA's new ministers should be driving (Part 1)

The people have spoken. Thousands of readers voted and our homepage poll garnered more than 14 000 votes - Government needs to cheapen its vehicle fleet. 

We have solutions below: 

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development:

Thoko Didiza should use a GWM Steed 5 - R159 900

Forget about a double-cab bakkie for any government official who busies themselves with agriculture. Farmers use single-cab bakkies. Period. 

And when you need something that can carry a load of feed or produce and is cheap, there is no better alternative than GWM’s Steed 5 single-cab. Sure, the Steed 5 single-cab doesn’t have airbags, but then again, it doesn’t go very fast either. 

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                                                                                            Image: GWM

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans:

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula Mahindra Bolero single-cab 4x4 - R218 999

Another cabinet portfolio which requires a rugged vehicle, suited to off-road abuse. Military readiness exercises happen in some of South Africa’s most testing environments. To ensure Minister Mapisa-Nqakula can attend all of these, she’s going to need something with credible off-road ability and decent range too.

In the Northern Cape, at Lohatla, South Africa has one of the world’s largest functional land warfare training areas, at 158 000 hectares. No good running out of fuel whilst driving around there. Best bet?

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                                                                                          Image: Mahindra

Mahindra’s Bolero single-cab 4x4, with claimed 9.5l/100km consumption and a 56-litre diesel capacity, it should have sufficient range. No airbags, but then again: you don’t hear SANDF soldiers complaining about a lack of airbags in their armoured vehicles, now do you?

Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries:

Barbara Creecy Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCi Single Cab XL 6AT 4x2 HR - R358 500

You can’t have the fisheries portfolio as part of your ministerial responsibility and not be able to tow a boat up a treacherous slipway with your ministerial vehicle. 

Minister Creecy therefore requires something that might not have all-wheel drive, but certainly has a lockable rear axle and automatic transmission, to ensure a slipway boat-and-trailer disaster is averted. 

Our recommendation? Ford’s XL-specification Ranger 2.2 single-cab. With 385Nm, a six-speed automatic transmission and a rear differential lock, this is great tax-payer value. 

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                                                                                     Image: Ford

Minister of Finance: 
Tito Mboweni Toyota Corolla Quest - R222 900

The man who has by far the most pressurised portfolio of all. Minister Mboweni must set the example for others to follow. He can also never be late, because any deviation from his schedule could spook the markets, and tumble the Rand exchange rate. 

Something utterly reliable. That’s cheap to run. Nothing quite fits that equation like Toyota South Africa’s Corolla Quest. The tenth–generation Corolla is dependability personified with its naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine and relatively mild, proven, electronics. 

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                                                                                             Image: Toyota

Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation:

Lindiwe Sisulu Mahindra Thar R232 999

A portfolio where travel to some of South Africa’s most rural locations is inevitable. As such, Minister Sisulu requires a capable off-road vehicle, that won’t go way over budget. 

Non-negotiable features are low-range gearing and a diff-lock. And some decent water fording ability too. What is South Africa’s cheapest off-roader with real terrain conquering ability?

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                                                                                               Image: Mahindra

Mahindra’s Jeep Wrangler lookalike, the Thar. Robust, if crudely unsophisticated, it has a mechanically locking rear differential and can wade through 500mm deep water. Cheap to run, too, with 16-inch tyres.