IN reference to the article, "Bay needs R20m solution for Afcon” (July 23), sport, in the form of soccer, is once again being put ahead of the basic needs of the residents in Nelson Mandela Bay. Approximately R20-million is now required, we believe, to fund the Afcon sporting extravaganza which is set to take place against the backdrop of service delivery protests in Walmer and Booysens Park, to name just two.
Whoever is promoting the Afcon expenditure, which comes from the city coffers, must also motivate such expenditure to the people living without houses, proper toilets and electricity, across our metro.
The call from Danny Jordaan comes not long after R11.4-million was spent on hosting nine World Cup matches at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
On May 7, I submitted questions to council, relating to R11.4-million spent on soccer matches. The answers are proving a bitter pill to swallow.
Not only did the municipality spend that money on hosting the matches, but council did not approve the outlay! Approval for such expenditure cannot be given by the administration, acting on instructions from ANC politicians – it can only be approved by a sitting of council. When the DA vehemently opposed such post facto approval, it was put to the vote and the ANC condoned it by the usual slim majority. As a matter of interest, from my questions to council, I learnt the total attendance at all nine matches amounted to only 130230.
Jordaan is under the mistaken impression that the metro’s problems are on a par with other big cities. However, our problems are far larger and more complex.
Two major problems, other than our well-known parlous financial state, that hamper the progress of our metro are the ANC’s internal political squabbles and the many vacant positions in the administration, with the obvious spin-off causing inefficient service delivery across the board.
Our energy must be focused on the bread and butter issues, as our people keep on telling us when they take to the streets. Until our metro is well on the road to financial recovery, sport extravaganzas will have to be put on the back burner.
The DA can and will only support Afcon if funding from other roleplayers can be sourced.
W Senekal, DA PR councillor