Complaints by the Democratic Alliance and Agang SA allege that the ANC is using state resources to hand out food parcels at election rallies.
Public protector Thuli Madonsela has received three complaints against the ANC allegedly using state resources for its election campaign, her spokesperson said on Monday.
"The public protector received three complaints – one from the DA [Democratic Alliance] and two from Agang SA," said spokesperson Oupa Segalwe.
He said the public protector was at this stage investigating whether there were grounds to launch a full investigation.
"The DA complaint relates to the by-election in Tlokwe [Potchefstroom] last year. The party alleges that food parcels were used in the ANC campaign ahead of the by-election," he said.
"Agang SA's complaint relates to allegations that food parcels were used in the ANC campaign in the Western Cape and that the Gauteng provincial government used ANC-related colours on its billboard."
He said he was not aware if there was a new complaint lodged with the public protector.
The Sunday Times reported that the DA was set to take the ANC and the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) to court over the alleged distribution of food parcels at ANC election rallies.
DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe told the newspaper that legal papers were served on ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman and Sassa as the DA believed that these organisations were involved in "the grotesque and continued abuse of state resources for party political gain".
'Cowboys don't cry?'
The case – in which the department of social development would be interdicted – was expected to be brought before the high court in Cape Town, sitting as an Electoral Court.
Selfe said that he had footage of a recent ANC event in Atlantis where food parcels were distributed by the department of social development, the national development agency and Sassa.
On Thursday, the DA received a joint reply from the department of social development (DSD) and Sassa in which the two bodies said that the opposition party was "contemptuous of the poor" to suggest the distribution of food parcels "constitutes an abuse".
"There has not been any intentional alignment of poverty relief interventions by DSD and/or Sassa with the election campaigns of any specific party," said the letter signed by social development department acting director general Wiseman Magasela.
Meanwhile, Fransman told the Sunday Times that he was unaware of the DA's legal action.
Referring to the event in Atlantis, Fransman said he was "free to go wherever ... [he] wanted."
He said his message to the DA was "cowboys don't cry". – Sapa