Sizwe Mchunu, MPP
Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature / DA KZN Spokesperson on the Premier’s Office
A parliamentary reply to questions posed by the DA in KwaZulu-Natal has revealed that the provincial government, through the Office of the Premier, sponsored a New Age business breakfast to the tune of approximately R130 000.
The money was used to pay venue hire, catering, equipment hire and sundries fees at the iSibaya casino event last month.
The breakfast was attended by KZN ANC government officials, cherry picked by the Premier’s office including Legislature Speaker, Peggy Nkonyeni, Legislature Deputy Speaker Mthimkhulu, chairpersons from the province’s portfolio committees and a further 300 invitees who formed part of the Premier’s Co-ordinating Forum. Invitations were not extended to any other members of the legislature.
It appears that the Premier has spent an excessive amount of taxpayer’s money on an event aimed purely at self-promotion.
This is also yet another example of how public money is being channelled to the New Age newspaper because it is owned by President Jacob Zuma’s allies, the Gupta family.
The reply indicates that a total of 680 guests were invited to the breakfast. While the cost per seat is not given, the DA has established that the average cost of such a ticket is R792.30 per head. This would bring the total revenue from ticket sales to just shy of R540 000. This figure does not include projected earnings from possible sponsorship and advertising earnings share for the event.
The excuse that iSibaya was the only venue available since there were no other government venues to accommodate the PCF meeting also warrants further explanation. The Office of the Premier’s efforts to justify forking out R130 000 – by supplying various advertising statistics – are yet another attempt to deflect from the real issue.
The fact is that The Premier sanctioned the use of taxpayers’ money for ANC electioneering purposes, thinly disguised as an elitist business breakfast. He owes the public an explanation.