The cars the SA government is buying

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#Zexit: Jacob Zuma’s possible retirement cars

2018-02-16 10:27

Lance Branquinho

Johannesburg - People are living longer, healthier lives. As such, those who really enjoy their jobs, are feeling a greater disappointment than ever when they are forced into retirement. This is exactly the emotional turmoil and potential absence of purpose that Jacob Zuma is facing. 

Zuma is being prepared for a life of retirement, most likely in rural KZN, where he had started preparing for such an eventuality back in 2008, by moderately – instead of modestly – upgrading his Nkandla homestead. 

A steady pension and much idle time await Zuma in his retirement, but what about mobility? A vehicle fit for his retirement... this is a troubling question, as Zuma has a large extended family and the roads around his Nkandla home is certainly not the best surfaced in South Africa. 

To assist Zuma in his choice of vehicle, we have investigated the market and found some solutions to appropriate to meet his requirements. 

1 Zil 4112R

                                                 Image: Zil Limousines

Retirement is a time for reflection and although Zuma never spent time in Russia during his exile, unlike many of his compatriots, there is no doubt that a Zil could strike the required chord. The absolute last word in unsubtle Soviet manufacturing legacy, Zil limousines have a lot of space with facing second and third-row conference seating, an enormous 7.7-litre V8 engine (only good for around 298kW, though) and terrifically retro styling. They run forever too, requiring very little maintenance, due to the absence of electronics and, well, any modern technology in general. 

What car do you think Jacob Zuma should use during his retirement? Email us

2 Scipio Technologies Griffin 

                                                         Image: Supplied

Often our friends are the greatest influence on the choice of vehicle we buy. You might recall this Griffin as the armoured vehicle which was controversially parked at the Guptas Saxonwold compound in 2017. If you feel that people bode you ill and still wish to travel across the country to see its splendour, or pop down to the local fast food place to get your own takeout, there is surely nothing safer to attempt it in than a Griffin. 

Locally made, it features a B7 armour rating, which means anything a person can hold and fire at it won’t make much of an impression. The blast-deflecting V-shaped hull can withstand a 14kg TNT detonation and you can load it full of stuff too, thanks to a 6.75t payload rating. It’s obviously not quick because it weighs 23t (top speed 100km/h), but the 350kW Mercedes-Benz diesel engine also makes 2300Nm, which should help it push anything out of the way. Impressive cruising range too, at 1000km, albeit on a 280-litre tank of fuel. 

3 Nissan Almera

                                                                 Image: Nissan

A Russian state limousine. Then a South African built armoured vehicle. Now this? Yes, because the Almera is so fantastically stealthy. If Zuma would like to go from Nkandla to visit an acquaintance and does not wish for much fuss to make of his presence, there is certainly no better way to travel incognito than in an Almera.

It’s budget friendly, frugal and delivers an adequate ride in relative comfort. It's a staple among rental cars and this allows it to blend in on our roads. 

The Nissan has an added benefit in being virtually indestructible too with a great supply network locally. People pride themselves on the toughness and durability of their bakkies, but South African government departments and rental companies have proven that Almera has inherited some of Nissan’s Patrol DNA.

They travel to amazing places on gravel roads in rural South Africa. Almera’s steadfast Japanese reliability could be a crucial decision point for Zuma, as whatever he settles on buying as his retirement car will have to last a good few years. 

4 Ford Ranger

                                                   Image: QuickPic

If you are going to retire to a rural part of South Africa, a bakkie makes perhaps more sense than any other vehicle. Robust suspension to avoid immobility if you strike a pothole at speed and all that loadbed capacity for transporting, well, stuff.

Zuma would probably default to what most South Africans do and choose a bakkie, in this case Ford’s enormously popular Ranger. Why do we think he’d prefer this over any rival bakkie? Because we’ve got images of him enjoying a drive in the Ranger, that’s why. 

5 Mercedes-Benz Maybach

                                                    Image: Mercedes-Benz

For those leaders who have been resigned to the heap of memory, instead of celebration, nothing soothes being the focus of public discontent quite like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class with an even fancier badge.

The latest Maybach S650 is powered by the legendary Mercedes 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12, boosting to 463kW and 1000Nm. And those numbers generate the kind of thrust that Zuma was so familiar experiencing on Inkwazi, the SAAF president Boeing 737. 


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