DA accuses ANC of 'food parcel politics' ahead of Nelson Mandela Bay by-election

AUGUST 4, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape has accused the African National Congress (ANC) of using food parcels, which are meant for the poor, to gain support for its candidate in an upcoming by-election in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

"Social Development MEC, Nancy Sihlwayi, who has a notorious track record of having little regard for the difference between party and state, is again up to her food parcel shenanigans in exchange for support from voters," said the DA's Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Social Development, Veliswa Mvenya.

"In the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM), where a by-election will be held in Ward 30 (Veeplaas/Kwa-Magxaki) on 19 August 2015, Community Development Workers (CDW’s) have been conducting door-to-door campaigning.

"MEC Sihlwayi has stated that her department will be 'helping' the NMBM with service delivery as per a call by President Jacob Zuma as part of a Women’s Caucus programme during August, whereby food parcels will be handed out and cheques handed to SMME's. Simply put, the Women’s Caucus is being used to channel funds to the metro during Women’s Month."

Mvenya said that last week Wednesday, she attended a Social Development programme in Stutterheim where, to her surprise, a group of ladies dressed in ANC Women’s League blouses were bussed in from Butterworth by MEC Sihlwayi’s department.

"Once again the MEC blurred the lines between an ANC-rally and a state department’s programme.

"In a fair society, the mandates of party and state are kept separate. The DA believes that equal opportunity for all brings about real freedom. Preying on the poor with cheap tricks can only fool the electorate for so long," Mvenya said.

"What the ANC should be doing is providing people with real dignity and real hope by implementing policies that will create jobs to alleviate hunger."

The DA and the ANC are expected to face off in the Nelson Mandela Bay in what will be one of the most contested constituencies in the 2016 Local Government Elections.