The Democratic Alliance (DA) is disappointed to learn that the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) has spent almost half a million rand on gifts while failing to help Gauteng’s aspiring sports, arts and cultural talent to compete on the international stage.
This was revealed in the department’s Annual Report for the 2018/19 financial year.
According to this report the department spent about R447 000,00 on gifts/donations and sponsorships.
The money was spent on condolence items for the bereaved families of employees and stakeholders who passed away as well as those who were hospitalized.
This amount has doubled compared to the R217 000,00 spent during the 2017/18 financial year.
While we sympathize with those that have lost loved ones, an amount of almost half a million cannot be spent on condolence items and gifts.
The department is lagging behind on many projects and mostly failing to provide much needed assistance to our aspiring talent.
The department failed to assist, dancer and choreographer, Oscar Buthelezi to travel to Germany for the Hanover Choreography Competition where he scooped three awards. The department’s reasons for not supporting him was that they don’t fund competitions and they only fund local projects. But when he won, the department took credit for supporting him.
The same applies to car spinner, Stacy-Lee May. She will be representing South Africa at the Mountain Dew Extreme Sports Festival in Pakistan. She is expected to leave South Africa on 17 September and be in Pakistan until 17 November 2019. She has been struggling to get financial support from the department and has now resorted to crowd funding.
The exorbitant amount of money spent by the department on gifts and condolence items could be used to assist our sporting talents in achieving their goals and in putting our province and country on the map.
I will be tabling questions to the Gauteng MEC for SARC, Mbali Hlophe to ascertain how many gifts, donations and sponsorships where paid for by the department for the past financial year.