Sports body owes R10m for ‘kissing fest’, agency claims

2011-10-24 10:09

The National Youth Development Agency’s “kissing fest” was promised R10 million from the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

But Sascoc has still not paid the R10 million almost a year after the festival, which was held in Pretoria in December.

A highly placed source at the agency informed City Press of Sascoc’s contribution, which has also been confirmed in the agency’s 2010/11 yearly report.

However, Sascoc denies the donation.

The World Festival of Youth and Students, dubbed the “kissing fest”, was funded through a R40 million grant from the National Lotteries Board and R29 million from the Presidency.

In total, the agency said it was still owed R30 million for the festival, including R16 million by the National Lotteries Board more than three months after the festival, according to the yearly report.

The National Lotteries Board has since paid up, with its spokesperson Sershan Naidoo saying: “The report had to be analysed to confirm that the grant was utilised in line with the grant agreement before the next payment could be made.”

The agency’s management still hopes to recover the outstanding amount from its debtors.

Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy said the agency’s claims were strange.

“We have had no dealings with the agency on this issue. We most certainly do not owe them a cent, let alone R10 million,” Reddy said.

He said they made no contribution to the festival and never received a request from the agency.

Steven Ngobeni, the agency’s boss, said it was true that Sascoc owed them R10 million for the festival.

“We have confirmation from Sascoc,” Ngobeni said, adding that the festival’s national preparatory committee has a letter from Sascoc.

“If they want us to take it up we can,” Ngobeni said.

Meanwhile, the National Lotteries Board is happy with how its R40 million grant to the agency was spent.

Naidoo said: “The first payment (R24 million) was used in line with the expenditure agreed upon in the grant agreement.”

According to the Auditor-General (AG), the agency incurred R26 million in irregular expenditure as proper procurement procedures for the festival were not followed.

In their response to the AG, the agency said these were due to expenses that had to be approved days before and some actually during the conference.

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