Ethekwini statues

Thembinkosi Ngcobo (Photo: eNCA)

eThekwini official sparks outrage with his response to R20m statues fiasco

If you don’t want eThekwini to splurge R20 million on two statues, you oppose black unity: That’s according to their head of parks, Thembinkosi Ngcobo.

Ethekwini statues

Thembinkosi Ngcobo (Photo: eNCA)

And to think, offering Jacob Zuma a record deal may no longer be the worst thing eThekwini have been responsible for this week. The KZN municipality have managed to score a double whammy on Monday, after revealing they are set to spend R20 million of public money on two new statues.

Not only has the decision to pull funds away from service delivery hit a few local nerves, but the “arrogant” response of Thembinkosi Ngcobo – the head of parks in the region – has kept tempers flared, too.

What statues are eThekwini building?

The new statues are currently under construction and are set to be revealed in July. The designs of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo were meant to be an uplifting project for the community, but to many, this is just more money being thrown down the drain. Ngcobo’s response did nothing to win over the public either, as he told eNCA:

“In politics, there is nothing more important than having an identity. Whoever opposes this is the type of person who would benefit from black people being less united.

They are the types who benefit from the divisions. The more we talk about these strugglers, the more we can keep the narrative, it’s more likely we will stay united.”

Thembinkosi Ngcobo

In Ngcobo’s book, those who oppose the statue stand to benefit from racial tensions. It’s hardly a statement befitting of Madiba’s rainbow nation ideals, is it? Social media users were far from pleased with the whole situation:

DA react to R20 million statue controversy

Meanwhile, the DA’s Zwakele Mncwango has blasted the ANC-run municipality for splurging on a “vanity project”, instead of diverting funds where they are needed most. The KZN Premier candidate confirmed the party have written to eThekwini city management, requesting an explanation of where the funding came from:

“This money, which belongs to the people of eThekwini and KZN, would be better spent on speeding up service delivery and opening fair access to real, long-term jobs, not an ANC vanity project ahead of elections they set to lose significant support in.”

“In our letter, we request Nzuza to outline which line item of the 2018/19 budget and what vote number was used to approve this expenditure. The failing ANC cannot do as it pleases with the people’s money.”

Zwakele Mncwango