'The ANC doesn’t need to buy votes with food parcels'

The IFP has accused the ANC of using Sassa to distribute food parcels around election time.

South African deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the African National Congress (ANC) does not need to buy poor people's votes with food parcels.

He was answering Members of Parliament (MP) questions in the National Assembly this afternoon.

Ramaphosa was asked what government is doing to ensure state resources are not abused to garner votes, after the Public Protector found food parcels were distributed ahead of the 2009 general elections in a way that contravened the Constitution.

Inkatha Freedom Party(IFP) MP Liezl van der Merwe told Ramaphosa that South African Social Security Agency officials (Sassa) and ANC representatives were seen distributing food parcels before a by-election.

"The IFP witnessed how ANC and Sassa officials, just a day before a by-election, brought in trucks of food parcels. We have the photos."

Van der Merwe says this was not an isolated incident.

"Now at almost every by-election you will find the same situation. I think then one can't advance the argument that the parcels are distributed on a needs basis."

Ramaphosa says the government believes that state resources should not be used to promote party political interests.

"State resources are for all South Africans, for all the people who live in our country, and therefore I don't believe the coming elections will be jeopardised in any way."

He says the ANC's policies are enough to attract voters, and that the party doesn't need to buy support.