By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson COGHSTA:
The DA has noted with dismay that Limpopo Premier, Stan Mathabatha, has awarded 184 traditional leaders from various districts across the province with brand new vehicles to the tune of R89 million during the festive season, in what looks like an attempt to buy votes.
Spending such amount of money on vehicles is a clear indication that ANC is too desperate to get votes and opted to utilize the taxpayer’s coffers to boost their 2016 local government electioneering campaign.
We acknowledge the role that the traditional leaders are playing and agree that they must be supported with necessary tools of trade to lead their communities. The DA will never dispute this.
However, the DA is deeply concerned that traditional leaders are continuously being used and bribed with cars and subsidies to secure their votes for the ANC in government elections.
This proves that ANC is desperate to win the local government elections at all costs to the expense of taxpayers.
This is not the first time the ANC used the similar tactics to win votes.
In 2008, the then-Premier Sello Moloto also awarded the same traditional leaders vehicles, just ahead of the 2009 National elections, as part of the ANC campaign to get votes.
The DA believes that the R89 million could have been much better used to do the following:
- To improve the bulk infrastructure in various municipalities which is in a broken state
- To boost draught relieve measures to get food growing and ensure food security
- To build more than 20 new schools and improve education outcomes
- To repair roads and bridges destroyed by storms
- Build more than 600 RDP houses
- Paying for more than 3000 bursaries
The DA will never allow our respected traditional leaders to be used to pursue their poor communities, by simply being given vehicles while failing to provide our rural people with services such as water and houses.
The DA has already submitted questions in the Provincial Legislature and to the MEC for COGHSTA to establish the whereabouts and state of conditions of the previous vehicles donated in 2008 and the history of their maintenance and where the R89 million has come from.