Cash-strapped KZN dept ‘cannot sponsor events’

2016-03-21 11:30
Mike Mabuyakhulu

Mike Mabuyakhulu (City Press)

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Pietermaritzburg - If you were thinking about submitting a proposal for sponsorship to the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environment, you can forget about it.

A firm MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu on Friday told the finance committee that there is no way the department can sponsor events.

The department’s budget was cut to the bone during the provincial budget, by more than R40 million, which is the biggest cut experienced by any provincial department.

Mabuyakhulu said he had foreseen the situation about two years ago.

“Members of this house would remember that about two years ago, I raised in the budget speech the need for us to introduce a tariff that would allow us to have a war chest in dealing with events.

“Now it has caught up with us. There was a lot of brouhaha around that matter. The reality is that if we had been able to implement, we would now be in good position to deal with it,” he said.

Lying ahead is a difficult task for the department to review the various entities under its authority and look at a possibility of merging some.

This is a directive that came from the national government as they look at cutting costs.

Mabuyakhulu said comprehensive work has been done in dealing with the matter, but said no job losses will follow. “I can say that the proposal at the moment does actually lead towards rationalisation and reducing of public entities,” he said.

The MEC, however, said the proposal is not final yet.

He said should it come to rationalising and reducing of entities, no jobs will be lost.

“We will deal with these matters from a rational, sober approach … We are handling the matter in a responsible manner and there is no reason for anyone to panic.”

Mabuyakhulu refuted claims that board members of the entities under his department were earning salaries that are far higher than the norm.

“Whoever has said this thing, is speaking from ignorance,” he said.

Mabuyakhula said national legislation determines the salaries of board members.

MPL Gugu Simelane-Zulu had asked the question, saying the committee had been briefed by the provincial Treasury on the matter.

The committee concluded that provincial Treasury needed to present the report on the claims so that the issue can be put to bed.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kwazulu-natal  |  events  |  sponsorships

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