Tlokwe municipality mayor Annette Combrink has refused to use a luxury official car that was delivered to her last week, Beeld reported on Friday.
Expensive official cars for mayors were no longer appropriate when people were burdened by poverty, Combrink reportedly told the paper.
She said she would use her nine-year-old personal Volkswagen Passat for official business.
Combrink on Thursday spoke about the fact that the municipality had ordered a Mercedes-Benz C350 CDI worth R736 000 for the previous mayor, Maphetle Maphetle, in June last year.
The car was only delivered last week, as special fittings — beige leather seats and a sunroof — had been requested.
Meanwhile, two vehicles borrowed from a dealer were both damaged when Tlokwe municipal officials used them.
The new Mercedes had been placed in storage in a municipal garage, Combrink said.
Maphetle told Beeld he was not familiar with any specific model or special finishes having been ordered because he did not know exactly what had been budgeted for.
Combrink said she had asked the Auditor General to investigate the purchase.
"My biggest objection is basically that expensive official cars in general, not just at Tlokwe, are unnecessary and obsolete."