Mbombela must come clean on AFCON expenses

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

The Mbombela local municipality must immediately make a full disclosure of the costs it expects to incur as host city for the African Confederations Cup, and reassure the public that service delivery will continue to remain a priority.

For months now DA councillors and the media have been asking the municipality to present cost analysis for hosting the event, only to be ignored or fobbed of by mayor Cathy Dlamini and members of the mayoral committee.

With the spectre of large scale corruption during the preparations of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup and the murder of municipal speaker Mr Jimmy Mohlala still looming large over the municipality, one would think that the administration would grab this opportunity with both hands to ease the concerns of the public.

It has subsequently emerged that the municipality has budgeted R6 million to host the event, and will receive R31,5 million form national government and R4 million from provincial government respectively, very little is known as to where and to whom the monies would be paid.

Furthermore, the municipality has not made the percentage it expects to earn from ticket sales available, and what those projections are. While it has been reported that over 47 000 tickets have already been sold, it falls far short of the over 300 000 tickets available for the eight matches at the stadium.

In the interests of transparency, Mbombela has to reassure the public that hosting such poorly attended matches will not compromise service delivery, and that funds earmarked for our communities are not “reprioritised” for perceived prestige.

To this end, Mbombela must:

* Make the Memorandum of Understanding between itself and the national government available for public scrutiny;

* Provide a complete cost analysis for acting as host city (which must include funds already spent and a list of service providers);

* Provide the business plan to deliver an effective and incident-free experience for soccer fans and the public;

* Provide the percentage spilt agreement between itself, the Confederation of African Football and Platinum Sports Management;

* Provide any and all potential means of raising revenue, be it through ticket sales or agreements with various sponsors.

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