The SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has accused Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini of trying to buy votes in Tlokwe, in the North West, with food parcels, the Saturday Star reported.
Sanco regional secretary James Gadinabokao reportedly said that Dlamini distributed parcels ahead of ward by-elections in an attempt to buy votes.
“This is a blatant abuse of state resources to campaign for votes,” he said.
“Why does the minister choose to go to Ward Nine, where by-elections will be held, of all the poverty-stricken areas in Tlokwe?”
Dlamini denied this was the motivation behind the relief efforts and said there were more than 17 000 child-headed households in Tlokwe.
“We are not going to stop our programmes because there are by-elections. The problem of malnutrition in this area is a concern for us.”
However, according to the report, a representative from the DR Kenneth Kaunda municipality warned residents on Friday that if the ANC-led government lost power, they would lose grants and food parcels.
Tlokwe’s ANC mayor Maphetle Maphetle has been unseated twice when ANC councillors voted to replace him with Democratic Alliance councillor Annette Combrink.
The ANC’s North West provincial disciplinary committee expelled the councillors concerned, resulting in them losing their seats.
The by-elections are scheduled to take place on Wednesday. – Sapa