Kimberley Diamond Cup: sparkling opportunity or shimmering mirage?

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance is astonished by the provincial government’s last minute attempt to save face by attempting to pull off their own international skateboarding event in less than a month’s time. This comes against the backdrop of the recent withdrawal of the Maloof family from the Northern Cape’s much touted “Maloof Money Cup”, which was meant to take place in September this year.

The DA has serious reservations regarding the outcome of the “Kimberley Diamond Cup”. This, not only as the past successes of the Maloof were largely indefinable, but also because the provincial government has less than 30 days to pull off a mega international event that, by now, should already have been 11 months in the making.

The fact that the department only one day ago (Tuesday, 27th August) advertised a tender for the provision of critical supplies and services for the new event, raises serious concern and provides reasonable cause for us to suspect that proper supply chain management processes will not be adhered to, due to very limited time constraints. This will further open the SCM processes up to corruption and could see provincial government coughing up far more than they had bargained on – never mind that over R160 million has already used up on the now terminated “Maloof Money Cup”!

The DA remains skeptical about the termination of the Maloof Money Cup, which was in its third year and of which the initial contract with the Maloof family had been extended until 2015.  Contracts are not mere verbal agreements that can simply be shirked off on a whim. Instead, contracts are binding legal documents and can only be terminated when certain clauses have not been honoured. There are also fees involved for early terminations of contracts. It therefore baffles the mind that the key sponsor and actual namesake of this event pulled out at number 99.

The DA is of the firm view that the department must come clean about the past and present skateboarding extravaganzas. This will include opening the Maloof business plan and contract up for public scrutiny, as well as being transparent about the costs involved in hosting the Kimberley Diamond Cup. This is important because until the public knows the truth behind the Maloof’s collapse, and the facts pertaining to the new event, we should not support the provincial government on this elaborate exercise.

The DA has, in writing, requested that the department of economic development be hauled before the relevant legislature portfolio committee to come and explain. We are waiting with bated breath to see whether our request will be met. However, considering the hold that MEC John Block, who is also the mastermind behind the past and present skateboarding events, has over his political minions, we suspect that ANC legislature cadres will be hesitant to exposing the truth.