ANC says DA's accusations of pocketing flood relief funds are an 'electioneering tool'

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The ANC has dismissed the accusations that its members benefitted from relief funds allocated for flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
The ANC has dismissed the accusations that its members benefitted from relief funds allocated for flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Rosetta Msimango
  • The ANC says the DA's accusations that it pocketed flood relief funds are a tool to discredit it ahead of next year's election.
  • The party denied corruption and misappropriation of funds meant for flood victims in KZN and the Eastern Cape.
  • The DA cited the Auditor-General's report, saying the ANC may have violated the tender bidding processes.

The ANC has dismissed the accusations that its members benefited from the relief funds allocated for flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. 

The party's study group on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said the accusations were nothing but an electioneering tool and ploy to discredit it and mislead the public.

DA MP Eleanore Bouw-Spies cited irregularities in the Auditor-General's (AG) report before the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs last week.

She said the report showed that the ANC may have violated the tender bidding processes by awarding contracts to companies with the same directors and companies owned by government employees or associates of government employees. 

Bouw-Spies added that the AG also identified indicators that contracts might have been split to avoid a competitive bidding process, which violated the principles of fairness and competitiveness.

She said the AG's report described the ruling party's response as slow and with little progress, adding:

For example, in KwaZulu-Natal, only 736 of the 1 810 temporary residential units had been completed and were in use, while in the Eastern Cape, only 45 of the 4 799 temporary residential units had been completed. Victims were not getting the support due to them because connected cadres were more concerned about lining their pockets than alleviating the humanitarian disaster.

She further accused the Department of Water and Sanitation of hiring water tankers that charged exorbitant daily rates than what was agreed to by the eThekwini Municipality.

"The rate charged per kilometre travelled by tankers hired by the department was also 197% more than the amount paid by the metro. ANC cadres were shamelessly profiting from misery."

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The ANC said it handled the flood disaster humanely, without corruption. The party said it established a parliamentary ad-hoc committee to monitor the allocation of flood relief funds. 

Responding to the AG's "slow progress" remarks cited by the DA, the ANC said: 

The AGSA found that the slow response was the main challenge and that this is a result of pre-existing challenges in the state. The emergency only exacerbated them.

The party said it would meet affected municipalities to resolve issues of incapacity, inadequate project management, and strict monitoring of contractors to ensure they deliver on their mandates.

"The ANC finds it unfortunate and inconsiderate of the plight of the victims of the floods that the DA saw an opportunity to use the disaster as an electioneering tool for 2024 without contributing to solutions," the party said in a statement.

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