Karen de Kock, MPL
DA Northern Cape: DA Constituency Leader – Sentraal
People in Groblershoop are up in arms because job opportunities that were previously non-existent are ironically now, in the run-up to the by-election, suddenly abundant in the town. This comes after the municipality, via a contractor, is providing people in Ward 3, the very ward in which the by-election is scheduled to take place, with menial jobs in the infrastructure sector.
The Democratic Alliance has a problem with this abrupt wave of superficial employment in the town and we are, in particular, questioning the municipality’s timing in this regard.
It appears that the by-election in Groblershoop is similar to the by-election that took place in Thembelihle municipality at the end of 2011, where the independent candidate, Danny Jonas, with the support of the DA and Cope, contested the election. In the time period leading up to this by-election, a number of programmes and projects were launched by the government. These included a programme to assist 40 youths to get their driver’s licenses, a “pilot” programme dubbed ” Everyday Heroes”, which was aimed at helping abused women, the launch of the “16 Days Activism Against Women and Children Campaign”, and the hosting of the National Children’s Day celebrations. Various other projects launched in Strydenburg at this politically volatile time, also included the donation of educational toys to about 90 children, the provision of 10 computers to the Strydenburg community library, the donation of furniture to a poor family, cleaning up projects, and extended door-to-door visits by provincial MEC’s, amongst others.
At the time, the DA reported the apparent abuse of public funds to the Public Protector. We, however, continue to believe that there is a pattern at play by the provincial and local governments to indirectly direct resources towards securing votes for by-elections, not least of all the upcoming by-election in Groblershoop. This pattern of manipulation and abuse of state funds must be stopped and the line between party and state responsibilities must be toed. This said, the DA will be watching the situation closely so as to record and report any such instances to the Public Protector.