Home News ‘Millions wasted on Youth Day commemoration flop’

‘Millions wasted on Youth Day commemoration flop’

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'The June 16 commemoration was a flop because a faction of the ANC in Tsantsabane sub-region tried to score political points. This faction failed because the commemoration was a total disaster.'

THE SAVE Tsantsabane Coalition (STC) has condemned the wastage of R2,1 million of taxpayers money on the provincial Youth Day celebrations. File image. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

THE SAVE Tsantsabane Coalition (STC) has condemned the wastage of R2,1 million of taxpayers money on the provincial Youth Day celebrations that were held at the Postmasburg Showgrounds in the Tsantsabane municipal area over the weekend.

STC spokesperson Michael Mabilo said the event was poorly attended.

“Catering was provided for
1 500 people. Only 50 people arrived. There did not appear to be any transport provided to bus in the people.

“The June 16 commemoration was a flop because a faction of the ANC in Tsantsabane sub-region tried to score political points. This faction failed because the commemoration was a total disaster.”

He added that members of the public were encouraged to deliberately stay away from the celebrations by factions who did not support Premier Sylvia Lucas who delivered the keynote address.

“The youth of Tsantsabane also boycotted the event. The district mayor did not attend the event while the commemoration was highly politicised and was advertised as an ANC Youth League event. A provincial events management company was appointed without including any Tsantsabane black entrepreneurs.”

Mabilo stated that the mobilisation team had yet to receive the R150 stipends and food that was promised to them.

“Tsantsabane arts, cultural, entertainment groups were expected to perform for peanuts.”

The STC has also objected to the appointment of four events management companies to organise all Northern Cape Provincial events.

“This tender was never advertised.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Conrad Fortune indicated that the Youth Day event was a great success.

“As part of the marketing campaign, volunteers from Postmasburg were employed and paid to do door-to-door activities to convince and persuade community members to attend the event.

“The day’s proceedings started off honouring Cassius Plaatjies as a youth leader from Postmasburg, as part of the governments heroes and heroines programme to honour those who fought for the freedom and democracy of our country.”

He added that the event was widely advertised through a comprehensive media campaign.

“The specific target audience of the event was the community members of Postmasburg as well as towns within a 250 kilometre radius including Upington, Danielskuil, Kathu, Jen Haven and Olifantshoek. Postmasburg made provision for transport. The service providers who were appointed to transport these community members were paid for services rendered.”

Fortune indicated that it was standard practice to cater for community members attending commemorative events.

“This is done as we cannot expect community members to leave their homes and attend government commemorative events which last the entire day and not be provided with a meal.

“We were however faced with a challenge on Saturday where food was distributed to the community members whilst the event was still happening and not after the event as normal standard operating procedures.

“The fact this happened had a tremendous impact on the number of people inside the tent as many of them chose to leave and hang around outside the tent. A request was made that an investigation be instituted into why community members were provided with meals before the event ended as per normal processes.”

He confirmed that the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture had appointed four events management companies as from April 1 2017 for a three year period.

“The appointment of these companies was done through the government tender process which is guided by specific financial management policies. As part of the service level agreement with the appointed companies, they are compelled to appoint local service providers, more especially when it comes to catering for the masses as well as transport to the event, volunteers for mobilisation, marshals at the event and security personnel.”

Fortune indicated that the four companies were provided with specifications for organising an event and that they were expected to provide a quote every time.

“The companies are appointed on a rotational basis. The companies that were appointed are Jamcorp, HRA Trading, Traffic Events and Mojo and Zesha.”

He pointed out that the department was not at liberty to discuss any contractual amounts including the value of the tenders that were awarded to these companies, to third parties.

“An application must be made to the to the Head of Department requesting information before any such information is released. Legal advice will also first be sought, to ensure that we do not contravene any Act or that the department cannot be found in breach of contract.”

ANC Provincial Secretary Deshi Ngxanga believed the allegations made by the Save Tsantsabane Coalition were unfounded.

“The allegation that the Youth Day programme was factionalised is nothing but them clutching at straws for cheap political gain.

“The ANC in the Province is working hard towards the unity of this Province and we can assure you that we have achieved a lot.”