Neither the NCACC nor the department had made any effort to recover the R1 million from Traffic Events after the festival did not take place
THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Art, Sports and Culture indicated yesterday that MEC Bernice Sinxeve has been studying Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on her findings in an investigation into the funding of R1 million for a youth festival that never took place.
The spokesperson for the department, Conrad Fortune, said that the MEC will relay further details later.
“The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has recently noted in the media that the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, issued a report on the hosting of a festival in the Umsobomvu Municipality in December 2016 which did not take place and it is alleged that the festival organiser was paid in advance. The department would like to indicate that we have received the report from the Public Protector and it is being studied by the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Bernice Sinxeve. Further details will only be available once all internal processes have been followed and completed. The matter is sub judice and therefore we are refraining from commenting until it is finalised,” said Fortune.
This follows after Mkhwebane released a report on her findings following an investigation into alleged improper conduct and maladministration relating to the misappropriation of public funds by the provincial Department for Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) and the Northern Cape Arts and Culture Council (NCACC).
According to the report, the NCACC paid
R1 million to Traffic and Events Management Company (traffic Events) to host the Umsobomvu Youth Tourism and Cultural Festival in Norvalspont in December 2016.
The report stated that the department had requested the NCACC to make a direct payment of R1.6 million to Traffic Events to organise the festival.
Mkhwebane said that neither the NCACC nor the department had made any effort to recover the R1 million from Traffic Events after the festival did not take place.
Mkhwebane instructed Sinxeve to take appropriate remedial action against the HOD for Sport, Arts and Culture, Ruth Palm, within 60 days from the release of her report and to also report the fruitless and wasteful expenditure to Provincial Treasury.
The department was also mandated to liaise with the SAPS on the progress made with the criminal investigation of the matter, within 30 days from the date of receiving Mkhwebane’s report.
Mkhwebane said they will monitor the progress made in the matter by the MEC.
“The MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture is to submit an implementation plan indicating how the remedial action is implemented within 30 days from the date of receiving my report and the national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation must inform me on the status of the criminal investigation within 60 days from the date of receiving my report,” she said.