Bulk of fund for Aids Day rally to feed participants

2013-11-20 00:00

MORE than half of the R1 million approved by the eThekwini Metro to host a World Aids Day commemoration rally in Durban eThekwini will be spent feeding and catering to the participants. A mere R50 000 will be spend on the tangible awareness drive — pamphlets, posters and billboards.

Yesterday, discussions around the city forking out the money for a provincial event, had the city manager Sbu Sithole explaining to the Exco that “they can’t be seen as not observing the day”.

He confirmed that even though it is a provincial event, meetings with the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and Health departments to get them to help pay for the day, has not yet borne fruit.

The event will be held at the J.L. Dube Stadium in Inanda on December 1.

Sithole justified the expense, saying the day provided an opportunity for government, NGOs, church, community organisations and individuals to demonstrate the importance of the fight against the disease.

World Aids Day is a day dedicated to commemorate those who have died and to raise awareness about Aids and the global spread of the HI virus. This year’s focus will be on the re-launching of the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign.

DA caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango accused the city officials of “forcing” the executive committee (Exco) to approve the money for the event.

The money will be used for:

• Marquee tent with chairs (R105 000)

• Stage/sound system (R35 000)

• Generator (R10 000)

• Speed fans (R10 000)

• Catering (R50 per person x 10 000): R500 000

• Catering (dignitaries at R100 per person x 500): R50 000

• Buses (45 buses at R3 000 each): R135 000

• Toilets (12 toilets at R3 000 each): R36 000

• Entertainment (R10 000)

• Promotional item (1 000 T-shirts x R50): R50 000

• Medical/EMRS (R10 000)

• Security (R10 000)

• Publicity (pamphlets, posters and billboards): R50 000

Sithole said they asked city Mayor James Nxumalo to engage with the MECs for Cogta and Health about financial assistance for the day, adding the city has a role to play in fighting HIV/Aids.

Mncwango said “a number of events paid with taxpayers’ money often turned into the ANC electioneering [fund] while defeating the exact purpose”.

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