R40m lotto money for youth fest OK
Johannesburg - All appropriate procedures were followed in the granting of R40m to the National Youth Development Agency for them to host the World Festival of Youth and Students, the National Lottery Board said on Sunday.
"The decision is based on the merit of the application and is consistent with other grants made for similar requests and purposes," said chair of the board Alfred Nevhutanda.
He said the event held national and international importance and impacted on local youth development and these factors were considered in the giving of the grant.
He said the kind of grant given for the World Festival of Youth and Students was considered a miscellaneous grant.
" Up to five percent of the total amount of R1.5bn available this year for distribution may be allocated under the provisions for miscellaneous grants."
Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Democratic Alliance criticised the amount given by the lottery towards the festival.
This followed NYDA executive chairperson Andile Lungisa's announcement that R40m of its R69m budget for the conference had come from the National Lotteries Board.
DA Federal Youth Leader Makashe Gana said "It beggars belief that the National Lottery will be handing over R40m in funding to the World Youth Festival's anachronistically themed 'Lets defeat imperialism' conference.
"It would appear that in the Board's opinion, a one week festival catering for international delegates who, when not debating the finer points of obscure ideological dispute, shall be partying and networking, is more important than keeping the doors of shelters for the homeless open," he said.
The festival starts on December 13 in Pretoria and runs until December 21.
Speakers listed on the agenda range from Kgalema Motlanthe, Winnie Mandela, Julius Malema to Jackie Selebi.
The World Festival of Youth and Students has previously been held in Pyongyang, North Korea; Havana, Cuba; and Caracas, Venezuela.
Member parties who made up the event include the Zanu-PF Youth League from Zimbabwe, and the youth league of the Workers' Party of North Korea.
Meanwhile on Sunday, the City of Tshwane said that it was ready to host the festival.
"The City is looking forward to a successful hosting of the festival."