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City of JHB accused of wasting millions on adverts, billboards ahead of municipal elections

The DA claims the city has wasted money on what it calls 'pointless billboards and advertising'.

Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance(DA) says the City of Johannesburg upped its spending on advertising from R26 million last year to R62 million this year simply to help the African National Congress (ANC) win the city in next week's elections.

The party claims the city has wasted money on what it calls pointless billboards and adverts on radio, television and in newspapers.

The DA's Johannesburg mayoral candidate, Herman Mashaba, says this latest campaign by the City of Johannesburg is simply dishonest.

"They claim this seems to be the normal way of letting people know of their successes, but at the same time they are not letting people know of their failures.'

But the city's Nthatisi Modingoane says this money was spent simply to deal with a perception problem in Johannesburg.

"One of the weaknesses is the lack of communication; they don't know exactly who does what and what are the programmes that are happening (sic)."

He says the spending is also higher at the moment because it's the end of this municipal government's five-year term.

Modingoane adds there's nothing strange about the money spent on advertising this year.

"The allocation that was made to the communication department was made to make sure that we communicate all programmes for the last term."

But Mashaba says if that is the case, the city has a duty to tell the whole picture.

"You can really be highlighting your successes, but at the end of the day our people are unemployed and living in conditions where they don't have services."