Group demands youth festival payment
Pretoria - Transport service providers gathered outside the City of Tshwane offices on Wednesday, demanding payment for ferrying delegates to a youth festival last year.
The event, hosted by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), was held at the Tshwane Events Centre in December.
However, City of Tshwane spokesperson Console Tleane said such demands made to the metro should instead be made to the NYDA.
"The claim made by the service providers is that the city owes them the money for transporting delegates during the festival. The city would like to set the record straight," said Tleane.
"It was agreed at the time between the City and the NYDA that the latter would pay any additional costs incurred for the transport, meaning the private services providers (namely) buses and taxis owned by private individuals and companies.
To this end the NYDA is liable to pay the service providers directly."
The furthest accommodation in which delegates where booked in was a university residence in Soshanguve.
Tleane said they were in touch with the NYDA to honour its commitment and settle the matter. Last year, the metro publicly disclosed it would cough out R2m to pay for the venue for the festival (the Tshwane Events Centre).
"In addition to that the city provided other services which include the metro police, the fire brigade, ambulances, municipal buses, and waste management, as costs that the City offered in kind," said Tleane.
The march happened two days after NYDA chairperson Andile Lungisa told the media that they had paid for all expenses incurred festival.
He lamented at how people could not move beyond the festival, saying it was history.
"We are focusing on new things now."
The agency had been allocated R75m and incurred expenses of over R100m. The public and some political parties were critical of the festival, saying it was a waste of taxpayer's money. The festival report detailing expenses has since not been made public.
Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said at a briefing on Monday, the report still needed to be tabled in parliament first.
The agency had asked for a billion but currently has R380m to spend this financial year