Durban - The ANC has been accused of abusing state resources and using them as their own following the revelations that its truck used for campaigning has been parked at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (ICC) for days.
The branded truck was parked at the back of the complex across the road from the ANC provincial office in Durban.
The Mercury spotted the truck parked at the same spot for at least three consecutive days last week.
IFP councillor Mdu Nkosi said it was utterly wrong that an ANC vehicle was spotted parked at the (ICC) for over a week now, adding the Durban ICC is a municipal entity, not a political party’s playground.
“The fact that there is an ANC truck parked there speaks exactly to how the party (ANC) in the province think they can do as they please. It is also wildly baffling as to how the Durban ICC themselves allowed this to happen, as that facility is an international venue. It does not look good if there will be political party vehicles parked there.
“If an ANC truck can go and park at the Durban ICC for days, does that mean, as the IFP, we can also go and park our clearly branded vehicles there!?
“Since the ICC’s values state that it acts with honesty, subscribes to a high level of ethics, are transparent and have no hidden agendas, the Durban ICC must then transparently provide answers as to why an ANC truck has been parked at its premises for over a week now,” said the IFP councillor.
DA councillor Thabani Mthethwa said this is a blatant abuse of municipal property by the ANC. “Corruption and sense of entitlement is so entrenched in the ANC that they now can't see wrong from right.”
ActionSa councillor Alan Beesley said it is quite bizarre that an ANC branded truck has been parked in the ICC for more than a week.
“As the ICC is a municipal entity, they should not be doing the ANC any favours. In this regard, the ICC must account why an ANC branded vehicle has been allowed to park for so long. Furthermore, the ICC must confirm that the driver of this vehicle will be charged full price for the parking,” he said.
ANC spokesperson Mafika Mndebele dismissed these concerns, saying the parties are just looking for controversy.
“To say we park there creates an impression that we park there, it's not the case, we do have our own parking, and the truck might have been there on that day for a specific purpose.”
The eThekwini Municipality directed all comments to the ICC.
In response, the ICC said it has a lease agreement with the ANC.
“We want to emphasise that the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC), whilst being an entity of the eThekwini Municipality, is also a commercial enterprise, tasked with operating its business in a responsible and profitable manner.”
It said the Durban ICC operates a property division dedicated to managing all vacant leasable spaces as part of its revenue strategy.
These spaces include courtyards, parking, areas and office space, which are lettable as commercial spaces under this division. “The area referenced (where the truck is parked) is part of a valid and up-to-date commercial lease agreement with the client, the ANC.
The vehicle is usually parked on South Plaza at the Durban Exhibition Centre, but owing to live events at the DEC, the vehicle is temporarily being parked on the Convention Centre section of the complex.
"We want to clarify that the ANC has rented this space as a commercial client of the Centre, and refute all claims of “under-handed dealings”, and “abuse of municipal property” made by those quoted in the article. Our policies and practices ensure equal treatment and opportunities for all clients and stakeholders.