Is the Maloof another monumental flop for the NC?

Andrew Louw, MP

Northern Cape Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance is highly disturbed but not at all surprised by rumours that the Maloof Money Cup could be a thing of the past and is calling on the provincial administration to set the skateboarding record straight. After all, the taxpayers, who have been funding this multi-million rand event, deserve to know whether the Maloof Money Cup is yet another monumental flop for the Northern Cape.

The provincial administration has not been transparent about the processes surrounding the Maloof Money Cup. Since the idea of hosting the event in Kimberley was born, the DA has been asking to see the respective business plan of this event. However, to date this document has been kept from us. We can thus only surmise that either there is no business plan, which would explain the dire lack of planning and coordination surrounding this event, or that the provincial government is purposefully keeping the contract away from public scrutiny. The latter wouldn’t surprise us, considering that the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism alone has already spent over R160 million on the Maloof Money Cup and that this event was the prime culprit for overspending in this department in the previous financial year.

While provincial government has hailed the event as a massive marketing investment for the province, little is known about the “value for money” aspect of the project or the impact it is having on the provincial economy. This is despite the event already being in its third year. Instead, all we have is a verbal promise from the department that the tourism benefit of this project will be seen in years to come. Coupled with this vagueness, the provincial administration also remains cagey around the overall expenditure on this event by government departments.

Given the above, the DA cannot help but think that there is more to the Maloof and its rumoured collapse than meets the eye. We will request the relevant portfolio committee to schedule an urgent meeting with the Department of Economic Development to further probe this event. The department is not a bottomless pit of funding for mega-events and projects. Every cent invested by this department, which is responsible for facilitating economic growth, must see returns and, if not, those responsible for championing such projects, including the likes of MEC John Block, must be held accountable.