The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has accused of the African National Congress of spending as much as R650 000 in public funds, during a campaign for the Nquthu by-election.
The DA spokesperson for finance in that province, Francois Rodgers, said the money had been spent on radio advertising, transport, PA systems, food and a marquee.
The allegation is that R150 000 was spent on the marquee alone, at this particular function. Among some of the other alleged costs for this event are:
• R190 220 on radio advertising for the Nquthu event
• R48 000 on taxis to transport people to the event
• R55 632 to hire a Public Address System
• R100 000 on food packs for distribution to guests
“The Democratic Alliance is appalled by the finding that KwaZulu-Natal’s ANC government spent money set aside for the promotion of the province’s Budget Day on a party-related junket in Nquthu, just days before a fiercely contested by-election was due to take place,” said Rodgers.
The ANC went on to lose that election – they were actually at the receiving end of an absolute drubbing. If the allegations are true, this will be considered wasteful expenditure on multiple levels. The jury is out on whether the function in question was an election campaign though.
According to the governing party in that province, this was a Post Budget Outreach function.
“The one-day event, held under the guise of a ‘Post Budget Outreach’ function, saw the ANC spend R649 644 of taxpayers’ money on trying to win votes in the Nquthu area,” added Rodgers.
“The DA does not believe that the choice of venue and timing for this event are coincidental. Instead, this is a blatant and obscene abuse of the system by the ANC and is indicative of the desperate tactics it is willing to use to ‘buy’ votes and hold on to power.”
“The irony of this ploy is that the ANC walked away from the Nquthu by-election with a bloody nose, having been severely beaten. It is now clearer than ever that the immoral tactic of “one food parcel – one vote” has no traction with voters,” he said.