Smoke, mirrors, abuse and blatant lies in ANC’s desperate fight back in Tlokwe

Chris Hattingh

DA Leader in the North West

The ridiculous statements of Social Development Minister for Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, that over 19 000 children are suffering from malnutrition and that there more than 17 000 child-headed households in Potchefstroom, most of whom do not receive social assistance”, is indicative to which level the ANC will stoop in its desperate attempts to regain control over the Tlokwe Municipality in Potchefstroom.

If these statistics were remotely accurate and trustworthy is would almost have been criminal not to declare a state of emergency in the municipality. It would also have been a serious indictment against her Department for allowing such a disaster to unfold without any intervention during the last 20 years.

The truth however lies in the deliberate abuse of state resources in the ANC’s attempt to win Ward 9 in Potchefstroom during Wednesday’s by-election. The Minister’s deployment of officials, including community development workers and social workers only into Ward 9, even handing out food parcels from the ANC candidate’s house, places her statement that this is done in the normal day to day run of Departmental business into context – even staunch ANC supporters sniggered sheepishly. It has very little to do with community-care and all with electioneering. Future Dlamini statements should be consumed in this context.

The reality is that the ANC, in once again blurring the lines between party and state and will stop at nothing to mislead the community in the days before an important election. The deplorable abuse of state resources and then to pretend that the ANC is a caring and delivering government by preying on the emotions of impoverished voters in squatter areas has apparently become standard practice.

However the one promise that Dlamini made that can be trusted is the one that she will return to Potchefstroom in one month’s time – that will be before the next round of by-elections in this municipality where more truckloads of state-funded food parcels and blankets will be handed out.

The Potchefstroom community demanded action from the ANC about the allegations of fraud and corruption as confirmed in forensic investigative reports which finally lead to the expulsion of 14 ANC whistle-blowing councillors. The ANC responded with the delivery of food parcels and blankets days before the ward 9 by-election. How the electorate will respond to the ANC’s smoke and mirrors strategy in lieu of action and delivery will become clear on Wednesday.