Exco’s R3?mln for youth month enrages opposition

2009-05-22 00:00

OPPOSITION parties within the Msunduzi Municipality were up in arms at an Executive Committee (Exco) meeting yesterday when funding amounting to more than R3 million was approved for part of the youth month programme.

The approval of R3 million for this year’s mayoral games was a cause of concern to rival councillors, who argued that this kind of expenditure is wasteful in the absence of a detailed account of how the funds are going to be spent.

Last year’s mayoral games were held in October and only cost taxpayers R1,7 million. This year, it was decided that the games should take place in June — which is Youth Month — so additional funding was required from council as this was not catered for in the current budget.

A R1 million request for the Msunduzi Youth Advisory Centre Launch was reduced to R400 000 and more than R250 000 was approved for transport during the June 16 celebrations, planning workshops, leadership training, an information session and an abstinence walk.

In total, the financial cost of the entire youth month programme amounts to R3 760 880.

DA councillor Bill Lambert said the council’s decision to allocate R3 million for the mayoral games alone was inappropriate.

“Council is not sending the right message by approving this amount. We are not being responsible if we leap from R1,7 million to R3 million and I strongly object because in these difficult financial times we should be tightening our belts,” he said.

IFP councillor Dolo Zondi said although he is not against the awarding of funds in support of youth celebrations, he felt that R3 million was too high an amount for the mayoral games.

“We need to see a business plan that outlines exactly where all of this money is going,” he said.

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