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Row over dodgy Gauteng billboards

The leader of the Freedom Front Plus, Pieter Mulder. Photo: Michael Walker

The leader of the Freedom Front Plus, Pieter Mulder. Photo: Michael Walker

Published Nov 27, 2013

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Johannesburg - The Gauteng province's advertising boards in the ANC colours is a threat to the country's democracy, the FF Plus said on Wednesday.

“The advertisement campaign, which carries out government successes, will cost more than R2 million a month,” Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said in a statement.

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“Propagandist advertisements in the colours of the governing party which is displayed during an election and paid for with taxpayers' money would never be allowed in any mature democracy anywhere in the world.”

Opposition parties' voters were in effect paying for what he called African National Congress propaganda during the election.

Beeld newspaper reported that Gauteng spent more than R2m a month of taxpayers money on advertising the province's ANC-led government's successes.

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The province reportedly had 51 advertising boards around the province in the party's green, black, and gold.

Thebe Mohatle, Gauteng provincial spokesman, told the paper the advertising was put up as part of a government campaign to make South Africans aware of good service delivery. He declined to give information on the budget for the campaign.

Continental Outdoor Media, who hires the advertising space, said it cost between R40 000 and R50 000 a month per board.

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ANC spokesman Keith Khoza asked how the board could be linked to the party when there was no party logo on it.

“Government is celebrating 20 years of democracy and it's using colours that attract people. There are no restrictions on what colours to use.”

Mulder said the FF Plus would ask Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and the Independent Electoral Commission to investigate the “abuse” of taxpayers' money.

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He said the boards needed to be removed or the ANC had to be forced to pay for them with their own funds.

Sapa

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