by Adv Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL – DA Provincial Spokesperson for Economic Development
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Date: 02 March 2018
The Democratic Alliance has requested the Public Protector to launch an investigation into the support given by the Northern Cape government to Macronymn 37 CC in the hosting of the Diamonds & Dorings festival.
Our concern is not about the event itself, but about the apparent abuse of public resources and the corruption evident in the support given to the events management company which hosts the event.
Provincial departments such as the Department of Economic Development & Tourism as well as the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality routinely provides significant amounts of financial support for the event. The department, for example, transferred at least R1.3 million to the company during the previous financial year while the municipality likewise provided R1.3 million in core funding. Non-financial support is also provided by stakeholders like the Northern Cape Tourism Authority, which channels its own resources into marketing and advertising for the event.
Despite these significant contributions, however, the event is usually reported to make a loss. How can it be that an event which is almost entirely subsidised by public funds and charges exorbitant ticket prices to boot can run at a loss?
We have therefore asked that the Public Protector investigates the type of support provided by stakeholders in the provincial and local government and to determine whether or not funding provided to Macronymn 37 CC meets the requirements prescribed by both the Public Finance Management Act and the Municipal Finance Management Act.
We know already that that the company has wilfully failed to report to the Northern Cape Tourism Authority on previous events. This failure to report is a violation of the Public Finance Management Act, but also an abuse of the trust placed in them to use public resources efficiently and to report on its use transparently.
I will also be writing to artists, asking them to consider not to perform at the event. We are mindful of the fact that local artists are performing and are given a platform at the festival to advance their careers. This cannot dissuade us from our constitutional responsibility to hold the executive to account. If we are to eradicate corruption and misuse of public funds in our province, we need people in the private sector to also play their part.
Our music might be for sale, but our souls are not.
Adv Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson for Economic Development
082 302 2117 / 079 874 6179
071 251 5558