KZN government distances itself from social media influencer payment claims
The KwaZulu-Natal government has distanced itself from social media claims and suggestions various departments had paid social media influencers to promote its budget presentations for the 2020/2021 financial year, which are under way this week.
In a statement, KZN spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said they had noted with serious concerns spurious claims doing the rounds on social media by “so-called influencers” that they were paid to promote 2020 budget presentations by various departments.
“It has come to the provincial government's attention that there are social media users who are posting disgusting images using the 2020 KZN budget as their hashtag, claiming they have been paid to do so.
“We want to put it on record that no single provincial government department has paid any influencers to promote their Budget votes,” Mabaso said.
He added that this had nothing to with the provincial government and suggestions it had paid influencers was untrue and ridiculous.
Mabaso said the provincial government had no need to use “so-called influencers”, given its own ability to promote its budget presentations using its own social media platforms, which it had successfully done so at no cost.
He said that besides being able to promote budget presentations on their own social media platforms, the paying of influencers would have gone against the spirit of clean governance and Public Finance Management Act regulations.
“Therefore, the KZN provincial government distances itself from these spurious allegations and calls for those influencers making these claims to desist from doing so with immediate effect.
“Failure to do so may result in stern action being taken against those behind these malicious claims which have painted the provincial government in a very negative light,” said Mabaso.
In recent days several Twitter accounts, including @RealMrumaDrive, @_ziikhona, @Moo_tswela, @SciTheComedist, @kulanicool and @moo_venda, used the hashtags #KZNBudget2020 and #EDTEA and pictures of presentation slides supposedly from the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs’ budget presentation.
In one such post using the #KZNBudget2020 hashtag, @RealMrumaDrive posted pictures of a woman in a bikini at the beach with the caption, “Happy Tuesday”, and other post of a woman in a bikini with the caption, “Good morning”.