Blade Nzimande owns a BMW. Ace Magashule’s car is a Mercedes-Benz. Hell, Pravin Gordhan has an Audi and a Lexus. Sure, they didn’t struggle to be poor, but wait a moment; for once, we’re not complaining about government excesses.
What we’re concerned about, is that our politicians seem singularly lacking in vision when choosing a set of wheels that befits their stature. No doubt about it, they’ve been aiming too low. Never mind showing us how much cash you’ve got, how about providing a hint of flair too – James Bond-style.
We think politicians deserve no less than an Aston Martin. Probably not a V8. In a country with a pitiful public transport system, that might be taking status symbols just a little too far… But how about an Aston Martin Cygnet?
This city car has all the cachet of a luxury brand (well, some of it at least), but is based on the Toyota iQ microcar. The 1.33 litre engine is all Toyota, giving politicians a democratic, rather than an elitist drive. We’ve never been huge Toyota fans, but it wouldn’t harm our officials to aspire to the common touch for a change. And if that doesn’t appeal, they needn’t protest: the Cygnet’s interior and exterior have been completely revamped, meaning that they won’t miss those special little luxuries to which they’ve become accustomed.
Okay, the entry-level Cygnet is slated to cost about R350 000, which might not sit too kindly with taxpayers. On the plus side, that’s a whole lot less than the price of many of the cars our politicians currently drive. Also, this nimble little model will allow them to nip around town without the necessity of a blue lights brigade accompanying their every move, which should save the fiscus a fair bit of cash.
There’s only one snag – at the moment Cygnet ownership is limited to those who already own a top-end Aston Martin. We may finally have caught the politicians’ interest with that last nugget of information, but we’re not about to suggest they get two official cars each. Perhaps, if the government placed a bulk order the company would waiver this condition. We think it’s worth a try.
By Theresa Mallinson
Watch: Aston Martin Cygnet, Geneva 2010, from Edmunds.com