DA wants clarity on Kimberly Diamond Cup

Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Economic Affairs:

The Democratic Alliance will be submitting written questions to the department of Economic Development for further clarity on exactly how the Kimberley Diamond Cup will benefit the youth of the province.

The Kimberley Diamond Cup is one of the mega-projects being driven by the provincial government. Over the past few years, various departments have contributed hugely to this project. However, it is not clear that the province is actually reaping any returns on this investment.

We want to know exactly how this event benefits the youth. Youth unemployment remains high. The province cannot afford to throw money at mega-projects which cannot bring about meaningful change in the lives of our people.

We want to establish exactly how much the provincial government as a whole spends on this event and how it is funded. Our own research shows that the provincial government spent at least R150 million on the 2013 event, excluding the sponsorships. The department of Economic Development is notoriously shy of answering questions on the Kimberley Diamond Cup’s costs. According to the Kimberley Diamond Cup expenditure report submitted to the Legislature in 2014, the department contributed R30 million each year for the 2011 and 2012 events. This figure does not include the financial support from departments such as the department of Sport, Arts and Culture or entities like the Northern Cape Tourism Authority. The figure of R30 million is also significantly higher than the department of Economic Development’s original estimates that the event would cost roughly R16 million to host. No explanation is forthcoming on why the costs have doubled.

The provincial tourism sector has been in a decline, with both local and foreign tourists spending less time and less money in the province. Clearly, the mega-projects have not had the intended effect on the tourism sector.

We are looking forward to receiving the results of the study commissioned by the provincial government into the economic impact of the Kimberley Diamond Cup. It is telling that this study was commissioned after the event has been launched and not to determine the feasibility beforehand.