179 10-03-14 DA billboard on the N1 highway addressing the load shedding issue. Picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla

Durban -

The DA has been accused of using electricity or the lack of it as an electioneering tool.

The opposition party has paid for billboards stating “Load shedding. Proudly brought to you by the ANC” and donated a generator to a Soweto clinic.

The generator, said the DA, was meant to alleviate electricity problems at Protea South Clinic, in Soweto. However, the donation has caused a turf war between the party and the ANC.

This was after councillor Nonceba Molwele, member of the mayoral committee for health and social development, accused the DA’s Mmusi Maimane of a publicity stunt and not following protocol.

Molwele said Maimane was a councillor and ought to have known better.

“He can’t just impose the donation (at the clinic). There is a councillor’s code of conduct that needs to be followed. The staff can’t accept any donation, irrespective of who brings it, because it brings up opportunity for corruption,” he said.

Maimane donated the generator on Sunday after he said he had heard stories of how the clinic had to shut down on occasion because it had no electricity or back-up generators.

Maimane said on Monday he could not believe the clinic could not accept the generator.

“The City of Joburg said we did not consult them and did not follow protocol. We believe that they are hindering it on political grounds,” he said.

“I am flabbergasted. We make a plan for the community, and now this.”

Residents said the situation at the clinic was so bad that in winter it had to close down because of power cuts.

Molwele said

cable theft was the cause of the outages. Underground cabling was the solution.

“The problem is bigger than just issuing a generator. Councillor Maimane is playing a political stunt because elections are near,” she said.

Maimane said it was important that people knew the truth that load shedding had been caused by the ANC.

The ANC’s Jackson Mthembu refused to comment.

“We don’t speak about other people’s billboards; we’ve got our own,” he said.

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The Mercury