THE Mangaung local municipality's plans to buy 50000 Fifa World Cup tickets to be distributed among citizens was criticised by the Democratic Alliance yesterday.
DA shadow minister of tourism Greg Krumbock said even at the entry rate of R140 a ticket 50000 tickets would cost the municipality R7million.
"Not only is this an enormous expense for the municipality to cover, but it appears, on the face of it, that these tickets will be used to buy votes," he said in a statement.
Executive mayor Playfair Morule, pictured, apparently indicated that 8000 tickets would be bought for six different games during a media breakfast in the city.
Krumbock said the DA believed that the World Cup would be a fantastic showpiece for South Africa and would play a significant positive role in stimulating economic growth.
"But we cannot support this blatant attempt to use the World Cup for political purposes," he said.
He said there were numerous other areas in which the municipality could have invested the funds.
Krumbock asked: "What criteria will be used to decide who receives the tickets? How can we be sure the tickets will not be handed over as part of a shameful vote-winning exercise?"
Krumbock said the announcement raised further questions on how the municipality would buy the tickets.
"The Fifa ticket purchasing system currently limits ticket buyers to four tickets per transaction and requires personal details such as ID numbers and addresses," he said.
The DA wants to discuss the matter within the municipal council. Krumbock said the municipality needs to rethink the purchase as a matter of urgency and instead allocate the funds to where the need was the most.
The Mangaung municipality was not immediately available for comment. - Sapa