Calls for investigation into Ethekwini's multi-million rand virtual concerts

Calls for investigation into Ethekwini's multi-million rand virtual concerts

eThekwini's Community Services Committee wants a thorough investigation into the City's spending of millions of rands on virtual concerts. 

Durban City Hall Flickr
Flickr - Gerry Lynch

The committee received a report last week detailing the R8-million expenditure, on an entertainment initiative by the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department. 

The DA's Yogis Govender says they realised that the project had gone ahead without the committee's approval. 

"Of concern was that top management in the city had signed off on these recommendations at the end of June. This would have been contrary to now the subsequent media reports that the mayor had in fact suspended this programme.

She says, as the DA they are eager to uncover why this item was then still tabled for approval at this portfolio committee. 

"We have been asking questions as we started noticing programmes and events being publicised on the EThekwini Municipality Facebook pages without these ever being tabled before the council," she added. 

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The money was supposed to be paid to artists, those handling the live-stream and marketers. It's understood the concerts - which took place between April and June - were arranged to encourage people to stay at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

The IFP's Mdu Nkosi says it would've been a great initiative,  if all the correct processes were followed. "No head of the department must implement any programmes without the council's decision because at the end of the day, this will be an irregular expenditure if there is no resolution from the council." 

The City's Msawakhe Mayisela says the programme's been suspended, " When it was suspended, there were several protests by artists and the mayor made some time to meet with them, where he shed some light on why the City has reached that decision. It will always be a priority to ensure that every cent of taxpayers' money goes towards service delivery.

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