eThekwini mayor to investigate hiring of R500 000 carpet for Reed Dance

2017-09-11 16:33
The carpet that was procured for R500 000 by eThekwini Municipality. (Supplied)

The carpet that was procured for R500 000 by eThekwini Municipality. (Supplied)

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Durban – eThekwini Municipality leadership have called for a report on the procurement of a R500 000 carpet that was delivered late at the weekend’s uMkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance) in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.

Maidens from eThekwini Municipality were left irate after poor quality carpets were provided for them to rest on. They were told high quality carpets would be provided for the tents the young women slept in.

However, the maidens were given shoddy carpets in the early hours of Saturday morning. Some maidens had allegedly rejected the late night offering.

Spokesperson for eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, Mthunzi Gumede, said on Monday that the municipality would investigate the matter.

"The Mayor, Zandile Gumede, has requested for a comprehensive report from the responsible department, and that it be delivered at her office by tomorrow [Tuesday]."

Gumede did not say who the suppliers were.

He said he could also not immediately confirm what the carpet was made of, or how big it was.

"If we find something wrong, obviously action will be taken, either against a company or internal people. We hope the DA will then not start accusing us of purging people."

Many maidens slept on blankets while the royal house provided some maidens with mattresses.

Cultural looting

According to DA eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango, the opposition raised the issue of the carpet last month when the matter came to its executive council (exco).

"We questioned how it was possible to hire a carpet for two days to cost the City R500 000. You don't need to be a scientist to see looting here. We support the Reed Dance, but you could have built an actual structure with that money."

Mncwango said the carpet was an insult to the king and the maidens.

"This is bringing the king into disrepute. The king must be protected."

Read more on:    zandile gumede  |  durban  |  culture  |  reed dance

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