Youth agency spent R106m on party

2011-10-09 10:36

Johannesburg - R100 000 for balloons, R60 0000 for confetti and R90 000 for a headstone. 

These are some of the exorbitant payments made by the National Youth Development Agency - a government agency tasked with creating jobs for the youth - to politically connected businesspeople and artists for last December’s World Festival of Youth and Students.

Shocking evidence of the agency’s excessive spending on the R106m party has been revealed for the first time in hundreds of pages of documents. These were obtained by Media24 Investigations after a 10-month legal battle using access to information legislation.

The documents reveal that:
- A company owned by “kwaito king” Arthur Mafokate was paid R5.3m for providing entertainment, including expensive balloons and confetti;

- A company owned by Mafikozolo band manager Julius Mekwa received a contract worth almost R9m for managing the opening and closing ceremonies;

- Bitline SA, a company owned by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s well-known business associate Ali Boshielo, scored more than R1m for providing bags, T-shirts and other paraphernalia; and

- A company owned by a Springs police officer won a R21.7m tender to provide catering and was paid R6.5m upfront before the tender was cancelled.

Court order

Last week, the agency, which is dominated by youth league supporters and former office bearers, handed over invoices, payment details and contracts following an agreement which was made a court order.

The so-called “kissing festival”, funded through a R40m grant from the National Lotteries Board and R29m from the Presidency, among others, has been the focus of ongoing controversy and is also the subject of an investigation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

The documents show questionable payments to politically linked individuals or entities and how millions were spent on items like bottled water, T-shirts and other merchandise.

In one case, a construction company was paid more than R2m to provide posters, banners, T-shirts and volunteers with loud-hailers.

Approached for comment this week, those who received the contracts either defended them as having been won in fair tender processes or ignored requests to comment. The documents provided to City Press do not contain any evidence of tenders which may have been issued although the access to information request asked for the specifications of the contracts. 

Paid before delivery

The documents also show that only a few companies appear to have provided basic supporting documents - such as tax clearance certificates - which are standard in state tender deals.

Many were paid large portions of the contract value on acceptance of the invoice, with services still to be provided.

The youth agency’s chief executive, Steve Ngubeni - who is a former deputy secretary-general of the ANC Youth League - conceded in an interview this week that proper procedures had not been followed in all cases, but defended the agency’s conduct in spending the R106m.

The festival, which was attended by thousands of young people from across the world, was derided as an organisational catastrophe as speakers failed to attend, seminars were cancelled and logistical problems snowballed.

Headlines recorded how delegates played kissing games in the sun as they waited for something to happen.

Last week, the agency only highlighted the fact that it received an unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General (AG), ignoring the matters of emphasis relating to the festival and its own operational spending. Ngubeni said the agency had hoped to lay the controversy over the festival “to rest”.

Irregular spending

The AG noted at least R26m of irregular expenditure relating to the festival and highlighted other problems such as normal tender procedures not being adhered to.

Events co-ordinator Farah Fortune was flabbergasted by the costs of the event. “Somebody is being ripped off by somebody somewhere,” she said.

She did not spend “anywhere near these amounts” when she co-ordinated the wedding for President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Duduzile. 

“What did they feed the youth, caviar?” she asked. 

Read more on:    nyda  |  ancyl  |  thuli madonsela  |  julius malema  |  jacob zuma  |  tenders  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Man dies in scooter crash

2014-04-19 17:02

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
125 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

We will give you police - Zille

A total of 250 000 police on the streets is one of the election promises Helen Zille made during an anti-drugs and gangsterism march in Manenberg, Cape Town.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.