The Democratic Alliance accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of "misleading" Western Cape residents about the party's track record in housing delivery while campaigning in that province.
On Friday, Ramaphosa campaigned in Delft, one of the impoverished neighbourhoods of the Cape Flats.
Ramaphosa told supporters that housing was a major issue in the province and that many people have been on the list for houses for more than 10 years.
Here's @CyrilRamaphosa claiming Western Cape government didn't spend its housing budget in Delft on Friday. DA says it is a lie @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/7jKS4F5h9G-- Jan Gerber (@gerbjan) March 23, 2019
However, in a statement released on Saturday, leader of the DA in the Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela said: "This is a blatant lie and the crassest from of dishonest electioneering."
Madikizela said Ramaphosa claimed that the housing department failed to spend R1.7bn of its allocated budget.
"The truth is that the Western Cape department of Human Settlements is the leading department in housing delivery in the country - as indicated in the Presidency report which clearly shows that the Western Cape is outperforming in almost all the other provinces in the Outcome 8 indicators."
Here's DA WC leader and MEC for human settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela's response to Ramaphosa's claim that WC didn't spend R1,7 billion its housing budget (video from DA) @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/wrcoysIkkV-- Jan Gerber (@gerbjan) March 23, 2019
Madikizela said Ramaphosa has become "synonymous with lies", adding that the country was currently experiencing rolling blackouts due to the "ANC's failure and incapability to address Eskom challenges that were highlighted 21 years ago".
"First, he claimed he never received money from Bosasa, he was shocked about the current state of Eskom and consequent load-shedding despite being warned about it in 1995 - he unsuccessfully oversaw the turnaround strategy for SOEs [state owned entities] and made promises to fix the problems in 2015, but never did.
"And recently he was shocked to see the status of our rail transport," Madikizela said.
During his campaign in the Western Cape on Friday, Ramaphosa said he was not worried that Eskom's woes and the accompanying rolling blackouts will hurt the ANC at the ballot box on May 8.
On Sunday, the ANC in the Western Cape denied the allegations levelled by Madikizela that Ramaphosa had lied about billions of rands meant for housing that was unspent, rolled or surrendered.
ANC rejects allegations
ANC provincial elections head Ebrahim Rasool rejected Madikizela's allegations.
"Madikizela ... accused the President of lying. After interrogating the issue, we know of at least R1bn which was unspent, as well as a further R1.1bn which should have been used to provide water, sanitation, basic toilets and electricity to informal settlements. This failure has had a direct impact on people," said Rasool.
The ANC in the province agreed with Ramaphosa that it is "criminal" for the DA government to have surrendered money to the Treasury because they did not have any plans or intentions to use it.
Rasool also questioned Madikizela's apparent faulty recollection of his own position on the matter. He referred to the Parliamentary Monitoring Group's minutes of a Parliamentary Human Settlements Portfolio Committee meeting in which Madikizela had appeared last year.
"Madikizela said then that the province's expenditure patterns did not paint a good picture. He admitted that the City of Cape Town was faced with numerous challenges and constraints in servicing informal settlements. In that Parliamentary hearing, Madikizela also named these challenges as unplanned and dense settlements, which made it difficult to install services, community ownership, and a high level of theft and vandalism.
"The questions is who is untruthful. We demand that Madikizela apologizes to President Ramaphosa," said Rasool.
And here's the proof- pic.twitter.com/8F9DmakhBk
-- John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) March 23, 2019