Beyoncé gets mention in Mbalula’s budget vote speech

2013-05-24 08:43

Less than a year after denying he had ever said he wanted to bring American star Beyoncé to South Africa, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula joked in Parliament that “we’ll bring her (Beyoncé) for you”.

Speaking about the SA Sports Awards, which have come under fire because of a reported price tag of R65 million, Mbalula said yesterday: “We’ll celebrate our sports at the Sports Awards and you love Beyoncé ... We’ll bring her for you.”

Earlier this week, Mbalula said the R65 million price tag was an exaggeration.

Responding to the sports and recreation budget, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said it supported it but took a swipe at the awards’ price tag.

“The money should have been channelled into other sports programmes,” said IFP sports portfolio committee member Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Said Winston Rabotapi of the DA: “To spend R65 million on sports awards is ludicrous.”

Rabotapi himself later came under attack from deputy sports minister Gert Oosthuizen for getting his facts wrong. Oosthuizen joked that he would offer the DA’s shadow minister of sport a calculator.

Mbalula said R156 million had been allocated to the African Nations Championships (CHAN), which South Africa is hosting next year.

Mbalula said, of the R1.03 billion his department was allocated for the new financial year, R815 million would be transferred to the provinces, municipalities and sports federations.

“Therefore, only R258 million will be utilised by the department for all its activities, including salaries,” he said.

Of the mentioned amount, R120 million will go to the host cities while R36 million will go the organising committee.

The 16-nation tournament, will be hosted across four cities – Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Polokwane and Kimberley.

Another event Mbalula mentioned is the launch of the Nelson Mandela Sports Day in June.

“This will be in partnership with Safa (SA Football Association) and Saru (SA Rugby Union).”

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