Gauteng Premier David Makhura during an occasion to hand over an RDP house in Winterveld. Picture: Rapula Moatshe

Pretoria - Premier David Makhura on Wednesday brushed aside suggestions that the handover of three houses to families in Winterveld and Stinkwater was part of a campaign trail ahead of the May 8 general election.

He said the intervention to build the four-room RDP houses would have happened even if there was not an upcoming election.

Accompanied by people clad in the ANC T-shirts, he said it was not opportunistic on his part to visit the area with 22 days to go before the polls.

"I have been here six times when there were no elections," he said.

According to him, the decision to do something about the impoverished situation was taken last year during his visit as the ANC chairperson.

ANC supporters welcome Premier David Makhura with the singing of Struggle songs in Winterveld. Video: Rapula Moatshe

"I then decided that on Mandela Day, I will pull people from different parts of the province to come and build the houses," he said.

He said the government had built more than 5000 RDP houses in Winterveld but not in ward nine, where one of the families stayed.

The households were identified because their situation looked very dire and desperate, he said.

"It is not related to the election. It is just that it took a little bit longer because we had to get business people and of course the engineers to assist," he said.

He said it was in fact the third time the ANC made such an intervention.

"Anyone who would say it is electioneering, I would say he or she could only justifiably say so if this was the first time. 

"The reason there are two houses we have to be celebrating is because the situation was very dire," he said.

Beneficiaries included an elderly couple living in a mud house.

Makhura encouraged citizens to always rise to the occasion whenever there were problems in their communities.

He said he won't deny that the building of the two houses would give the ANC a mileage.

"When delivery happens, it is good for the party and any party that pretends that it is not so it is just not honest. I have also seen delivery by other parties where they come together and they deal with problems. 

"The EFF would build a house and go and open it. I have never seen them being faced with a question: Is this electioneering?" he said.

Pretoria News