The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is not surprised to learn that the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mbali Hlophe is alleged to have directly influenced the department to spend R2,5 million on the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival.
The DA has been reliably informed that the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival was not budgeted for nor was it part of the department’s programme.
It is alleged that MEC Hlophe brokered the deal and directly negotiated with DStv. The meeting was supposedly held at a certain Sandton restaurant, with the owner of the restaurant also offered a tender to provide catering services without following proper procurement processes.
It is also alleged that the initial budgeting cost for the festival was R2 million and the R500 000 was only paid a night before the festival. The procurement was handled directly by the MEC and her office.
Furthermore, it is also alleged that the Future Thinkers is not an agency for DStv and that they were directly appointed on the MEC’s recommendations.
The DA tabled oral questions to Hlophe in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) with regards to the R2,5 million wasted on this festival, however, the MEC stated that it was a partnership between the department and the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival.
This raised suspicions and disappointment in that the MEC prioritized wining and dining while communities are in dire need of proper sporting facilities and equipment.
We call on Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to initiate an urgent forensic investigation into this partnership between the department and the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival.
The DA will also table questions in the GPL to ascertain whether this festival was part of the department’s programme and was budgeted for, to ascertain whether proper procurement processes were followed and whether the MEC and her office had direct influence in this regard.
Should it be found that Hlophe and her office are implicated and that proper procurement processes were compromised, they should be dealt with accordingly and those involved should pay back the money to the department.
It has now become a norm for ANC political heads to abuse their powers to solicit tenders to their cadres, friends, and relatives at the expense of the public funds.