Kimberley Diamond Cup : Is there value for money?

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance is questioning the economic benefits reaped from the Economic Development department’s spending on this weekend’s Kimberley Diamond Cup (KDC) skateboarding extravaganza held in Kimberley.

Despite the huge financial investment into this event by the department, actual value for money remains dubious.

A report over the weekend indicates that provincial government has spent R40 million on this year’s event. If this figure is accurate, this puts the total government expenditure on the event since 2011, at over R200 million.

During their budget presentation earlier this year, the Economic Development department failed to specify their allocation towards the

2013 skateboarding tournament. Instead, they chose to highlight that they had compiled a report detailing the gains achieved from the event to date. This report has yet to be tabled in the legislature.

For the past three years, MEC John Block’s department has merely quantified the success of this event by stating the financial worth of marketing and publicity achieved for the Northern Cape through the hosting of this event. This is vague and by no means enough to justify millions of rands worth of expenditure on a single mega event.

Ironically, Kimberley’s poor state of tourism readiness also nullifies marketing achievements.

Block owes the people of the Northern Cape an explanation. Taxpayers and the poor and unemployed people of this province deserve to know how, if at all, financial investment into this event has benefitted the provincial economy.

Since its start as the Maloof Money Cup, this skateboarding event has been shrouded in secrecy. To such an extent,  that the DA last week submitted a PAIA application to try and attain copies of the business plan, as well as past and present contracts with the Maloof family and the new contractor. This, after numerous attempts to scrutinize the event on the legislature platform failed.

The DA will continue to probe spending on this event. And we will not stop until we have discovered the truth about the Maloof and its real beneficiaries.