City of Joburg advertising spend tripled in election year – Herman Mashaba

DA Mayoral Candidate says it is disgraceful of Tau to think he can get away with using the people's money in such a self-serving manner

City of Joburg’s ANC electioneering exposed: advertising spend tripled in election year

25 July 2016

The DA can today reveal irrefutable evidence of the ANC-run City of Joburg’s abuse of public resources to promote the ruling party and their mayoral candidate, Parks Tau ahead of the upcoming election. 

Data commissioned from Nielsen shows that the City of Joburg’s advertising spend ballooned to R62 million between May 2015 and April 2016. This compared to R26 million being spent over the same period in the previous financial year. 

The City nearly tripled its advertising spend in an election year. 

Tau’s administration has spent tens of millions of Rand promoting his campaign with pointless billboards, radio, television and newspaper adverts that cast him and his administration in a misleadingly positive light.  

It is utterly disgraceful for Tau to think that he can get away with using the people’s money is such a shameless, self-serving manner.

Most tellingly, the City spent R 10 815 911 in April, 2016 and R15 502 739 in May, 2016. A total of R 26 318 650 over these two months, which amounts to more than the advertising spend for the entire 2014-2015 financial year.

It is important to note that this data does not include the months of May and June 2016, where we have seen excessive advertising continue unabated. 

The spending continues with national Sunday papers covering full page adverts of Tau’s “End of Term Report” yesterday. Tau has already held a press conference weeks ago to announce his end of Term Report. 

Despite the DA exposing Tau’s self-serving tricks, his unapologetic continuation of excessive advertising at an enormous expense to ratepayers is inexcusable and he must be held to account.

This wasteful expenditure of tax-payers’ money amounts to over R36 million worth of lost opportunities to create jobs for the 869 000 unemployed people of this city. In fact, while Tau highlights his tenure as a success, 180 000 additional people have joined the ranks of the unemployed since he came into office in 2011. 

It amounts to over R36 million Rand worth of lost opportunities to improve the lives of 25% of the City’s residents who live in informal settlements. These are people who are forced to live in conditions so shocking that I have lodged eight complaints with the South African Human Rights Commission, which they have agreed to investigate

This shows clearly how distorted the ANC-run City’s priorities are.

On 8 July, 2016 the DA laid an official complaint with the IEC and the ANC for the City of Joburg’s blatant ANC electioneering at the expense of tax payer’s money.

The basis of our complaint is a radio advertisement paid for by the City of Johannesburg claiming that Parks Tau is a great leader. It states an award he has been nominated for, and concludes by saying, “clearly the City of Johannesburg is in good hands”.

How does this possibly have anything to do with the City fulfilling its responsibly of keeping the residents of Johannesburg updated on its progress?

Last week Tau requested that the IEC dismisses our complaint and his spokesperson, Phindile Chauke, went so far as to say that the advert in question was “standard and annual communication of success and achievements” of the City of Joburg. 

This specific advert and the tripling of advertising expenditure by the City highlights that it had nothing to do with the “ordinary course of business”, but everything to do with spreading misinformation to promote Tau and the ANC administration in Joburg ahead of the August elections.

Regardless of the ANC’s desperate and unlawful attempts to influence the elections, the people of Johannesburg will not be fooled. 

On the 3rd of August, the residents of this city have an important decision to make, possibly the most important decision since 1994.

Do you want another five years of a corrupt, self-serving government or do you want to unite behind a new vision for a brighter future?

A future with a clean government that puts the people of this city first.

A future which will focus on creating jobs, delivering better services and stopping corruption.

Vote for change that will move Johannesburg forward.

Issued by Nkele Molapo, Media Officer, 25 July 2016