Queries over race funds

2015-09-03 10:00

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THE Democratic Alliance has accused the uMgungundlovu District Municipality of using money set aside for a water project to fund the Mandela Day Marathon.

Less than two days after the legacy race, held on Sunday, the DA claimed the municipality had diverted R4 million set aside for a waste water works project to fund a shortfall in the marathon’s funding.

DA MP Dean Macpherson said they learnt the municipality had used R4 million of a R10 million conditional grant from the Provincial Treasury which was to be used for a waste water works project.

Macpherson alleged municipal manager Sibusiso Khuzwayo “misled” councillors at a recent council meeting when questioned about the diversion, saying the money was “sponsorship from Cogta”.

“This is factually untrue as Cogta had earlier in the year indicated to the municipality that it would no longer be funding the event due to it being outside of its core function.

“It was further explained that if the money was not used, it would be returned to the Treasury due to delays in the waste water project. In view of this, the Democratic Alliance voted against this recommendation,” he said.

Macpherson added in his press release that the municipal district had been “plagued” by water shortages and drought of late, and it was unacceptable to divert a grant meant to improve the lives of rural residents.

Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the department would look into the allegations and had already asked the municipality for an explanation. Mabaso criticised the DA, saying the party was dragging the former president’s legacy through the mud.

“More serious here, however, is the DA’s political expediency with which it invokes Madiba’s name when it is convenient while, at the same time, it will not hesitate to drag an event organised to honour the late former president’s legacy through the mud,” he said.

Mabaso said the marathon was “our people’s way of sustaining the legacy of Madiba and keeping it alive every day”, adding that one could not put a price tag on an event like the Mandela Day Marathon.

He said preliminary research had revealed that the marathon had brought some R800 million in investment into the uMgungundlovu region since its inception.

He said the DA had never supported the restoration of the Mandela Capture Site, so it was “not surprising that the only thing it can do is to denigrate the efforts of those who are doing their bit to put the uMgungundlovu District on the map”.

Municipal manager Khuzwayo said there was no resolution taken at council and the matter was sub judice; therefore he was unable to comment on the DA’s allegations

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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