Tent for Rent?

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance is concerned that a tent standing outside the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre could be running up a hefty bill for provincial government. The white tent in question has been standing outside the convention centre for a couple of months already, following the centre’s opening earlier this year.

Queries from numerous members of the public have brought this matter to our attention. They are aware that tents this size and quality don’t come cheap and that the suppliers of such tents usually charge daily rates for the hiring thereof. We are thus concerned that government is going to have to foot the bill for this tent for the number of days that it has been erected.

During the portfolio committee meeting with the Department of Roads and Public Works yesterday, I enquired from the MEC David Rooi, as to whether he could shed some light on the matter of the mystery tent. He informed us that his department was only responsible for the convention centre up and to the date of its handover, which has long since surpassed. The department thus doesn’t know anything about the tent and it is not their mandate to take responsibility for the convention centre and its tent after giving it over to departments.

The DA would like to call on anyone who knows anything about this tent to provide clarity on it. If it is government’s tent, then perhaps government could consider making better use of it, by loaning it to churches or charities. If it is not government’s tent, then we would like to know whose tent it is and how much government is being charged for its use.

The DA will also write a letter to the Premier’s Office requesting her department to do the necessary follow-up required, so that we can get to the bottom of this matter. Perhaps there is nothing to it, but perhaps someone in government is delaying having the tent removed so that their cronies can benefit from a balloon payment for the tent’s extensive rental – you just never know.

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