R10 million for frivolous Gauteng Sports Awards

By Kingsol Chabalala MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage:

In a written reply to a DA question on the costs of hosting the Annual Gauteng Sports Awards, MEC for SRAC, Faith Mazibuko, revealed that the total cost to the taxpayer for the extravaganza was R7.8 million and will cost R10 million in 2016.

The department together with the Mogale City municipality spent a total of just over R9.3 million on the event. The city paid R760 000 to Silver Star Casino for the venue and catering.

Furthermore, the pre-production and the final production which included technical and creative producers’ costs were just shy of R5 million.

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By rewarding Gauteng’s sports stars for their efforts we collectively promote the ideals of aspiring to lift oneself out of poverty and staying away from drugs and alcohol abuse.

However, these funds could have been used for sports development and to supply equipment and other sporting paraphernalia to support local teams who cannot afford sport kit.

MEC Mazibuko has committed in her response to source additional sponsorships, but she would do well to ensure that the full cost of the annual event is not borne by the department.

The DA will submit further questions to ascertain what the processes were in awarding of the tender to a single management company to the tune of R7.8 million and what specific sponsorship initiatives the MEC will be taking to ensure the department incurs no further costs.

The Gauteng Provincial government simply cannot afford to throw money at glamorous events when communities are suffering from chronic under-delivery of basic services such as water, sanitation and adequate housing.