ANC to bill taxpayers R400 million for party

2011-11-10 00:00

TAXPAYERS will have to shell out more than R400 million for the ANC’s centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein.

This is on top of the R100 million that the ANC has already budgeted for next year’s big party. But this amount is petty cash compared to the money that will be spent to ready infrastructure in the Free State to host the big bash.

Taxpayers have already paid R150 million for the Philip Sanders-resort just outside the city. The resort will be the headquarters of the bash.A further R35 million has been budgeted to restore the Methodist church in Waaihoek, where the ANC was founded in 1912. Work has already started on the church.

To renovate the Seisa Ramabodu stadium in Mangaung a further R200 million has been allocated.The official house of Free State premier Ace Magashule will get a facelift costing R15 million, while millions will also be spend to restore the historic Mapikela home and the Winnie Mandela home in Brandfort.

Cope’s Casca Mokitlane said the ANC must spend its own money on its bash.

But the ANC has said the centenaruy celebrations forms part of every South African’s heritage, which is why it sees no problem in spending large sums of the taxpayer’s money.

Roy Jankielsohn, leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Free State, said even if some of the buildings are declared national heritage sites, it will be highly irregular for a political party to tap into national, provincial and municipal budgets to pay for its celebrations.

Jankielsohn said the DA would apply to the Public Protector to apply a previous judgement on this issue.

Professor Andre Duvenhage, political commentator of the North West University, said such spending of taxpayers’ money threatens democracy. He said SA had too many large issues like poverty, joblessness and crime to spend money on a party.

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