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Potchefstroom - The social development department has started delivering blankets in the Tlokwe wards where by-elections are to take place later this month, the DA said on Friday.
“Only days after the (African National Congress) launched their plans for the final round of Tlokwe by-elections, the department of social development started its own vote-buying efforts,” Democratic Alliance constituency head for Tlokwe Juanita Terblanche said in a statement.
“The blankets were distributed from (an SA Social Security Agency) truck, coincidentally parked close to the home of an ANC councillor.”
She said sources within the department had alerted the DA about the blanket campaign, and that another food parcel handout campaign was to be held.
This is the third time the department has been accused of buying votes in the municipality ahead of a by-election.
However, the department continued to deny the claims and said the handing out of food parcels and blankets was part of its Project Mikondzo, a service delivery improvement initiative to improve access to the department and its entities.
DA MP Mike Waters has asked for an investigation into Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who has said she will look into the distribution of food parcels in Tlokwe.
Terblanche said it was not right for the government to use state resources to benefit a particular party's campaigns.
“This blatant abuse of state resources for party political campaigning must end.
“It is indicative of the ANC’s desperation to regain Tlokwe,” she said.