Gauteng sports

1804% increase! Fury over Gauteng Sport and Arts Department spending

The DA are absolutely furious over the Gauteng Department of Sport and Arts’ spending on “corporate gifts”.

Gauteng sports

The Gauteng provincial government’s Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation is getting some serious criticism. And it all stems from MEC Mbali Hlophe having released her department’s latest spending figures. The problem here? The amount spent on “corporate gifts” is 19 times more than it was in the 2018/19 financial year.

Gauteng Sport and the “corporate gifts” saga

In a statement released by DA Gauteng MPL Kingsol Chabalala, the DA reveals that the department has increased its expenditure on corporate gifts by 1804% in the 2020/21 financial year.

The figures were sent to Chabalala in a written reply from Hlophe.

According to Hlophe’s figures, her department spent R105 725 on the gifts.

“Since the 2015/16 financial year, the department has only spent R5553.00 during 2018/19 and R105 725.00 during 2020/21, while there was no money spent in other financial years. In total, the department has spent R111 278.00 for the past six financial years.

This money spent on corporate gifts in the 2020/21 financial year could have been used to pay 17 athletes and artists R6000 each as part of the Covid-19 relief grant.”

DA Gauteng MPL Kingsol Chabalala

Corporate gifts and big money

The DA insists that the gifts money would have gone a long way to ease the pressure on struggling artists and athletes. Chabalala says the money should have been focussed on the department’s core mandate.

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The Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation also raised eyebrows last month.

Hlophe and team had to come out publically against reports that the iconic Soweto Eyethu Cinema was set to be demolished. The cinema has been neglected for years and was a prime entertainment venue for black South Africans in the 70s and 80. The majority of cinemas at the time were for “whites only”.

According to the department, the cinema is now being considered for a possible restoration as a heritage site.