Mayor award offers rewards for votes

2015-10-15 14:08
Mayor Mluleki Ndobe

Mayor Mluleki Ndobe (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - Oppositions parties have accused the ANC mayor of the Harry Gwala District ­Municipality of using public money to lobby for votes in a competition to select the best mayor in the province.

The IFP accused Mayor Mluleki Ndobe of using “cheap politics” to garner votes for ­himself. Ndobe placed an advert in local ­newspapers calling on residents to vote for him. The advert said 25 voters stood a chance of winning R6 000 worth of electricity.

“We see this as the abuse of state resources for cheap politics, just for the mayor to be seen as a hardworking person when he is not ­worthy of the title,” said the IFP leader in the KZN Legislature Blessed Gwala. “ANC mayors must stop using our people as tools to garner votes and boost their own selfish egos.”

DA MPL Francois Rogers said they would interrogate the advert and its promises.

“This is unacceptable and a biased way to judge mayors,” he said.

Harry Gwala District spokesperson Ndabezitha Tenza said payment for the advertisements came from a budget for mayoral programmes for the 2015-2016 financial year.

“The mayor is the political head of the municipality; therefore all his programmes are budgeted for by the municipality. It is against this background that we reject the whole notion that the mayor is using taxpayers’ money to advance his political interests,” said Tenza.

He added that Ndobe’s political leadership is “well known and appreciated throughout South Africa”, and therefore needed no supplement from government resources.

Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson of the Co-operative Governance Department, which is running the competition, said the electricity vouchers were sponsored by a private company and all voters in the province were eligible to win them. “This is not specific to the Harry Gwala District. This sponsorship comes via Cogta to motivate the public to vote and participate,” he said.

Mabaso said the IFP was misreading the facts and “totally” misleading the public.

“They [IFP] are embarrassing themselves and they owe the mayor and his municipality an apology,” he added.

A Cogta circular says the aim of the coveted KZN Municipal Excellence Awards is to promote service excellence and reward mayors and municipalities for innovative and creative service delivery. Mabaso said all mayors and municipalities would soon advertise to their residents to vote for their mayor, and advise that 25 people stood a chance to win R6 000 worth of electricity vouchers. He said the municipalities would advertise the work done in their areas over the year and the vouchers were a way of encouraging people to vote.

Voting, at R1,20 per SMS, commenced on September 21 and closes on November 3

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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