eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda with Shauwn Mkhize who is also known as MaMkhize. I Instagram
eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda with Shauwn Mkhize who is also known as MaMkhize. I Instagram

MaMkhize told to sell her luxury cars to fund Royal AM FC

By Thabo Makwakwa Time of article published Sep 29, 2021

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DURBAN - THE DA is unhappy with the eThekwini Municipality’s decision to provide sponsorship to multimillionaire Shauwn Mkhize’s soccer team Royal AM FC.

The party, during the virtual sitting of the municipality’s Executive Committee on Tuesday, said it was not fair to spend taxpayers’ money on wealthy Mkhize, who had recently bought a R16 million Rolls-Royce. The DA suggested that she sell one of her luxurious cars to fund her own team.

The city had requested Exco approve sponsorship for and partnership with Royal AM FC to the value of R15.7m over the next three years – about R5.25m each year.

DA caucus leader Nicole Graham, rejecting the proposal, said: “The Royal AM owners are incredibly wealthy and they made their wealth through the city’s tenders. To tell the people of the city that we will use millions of their money to sponsor those who are this wealthy, is not about the development of the city, but mismanagement of funds.

“They bought a club not so long ago for R50m and owned Rolls-Royces; this proves that Mkhize has influence in the city. She must sell one of her Rolls-Royces to fund her team. This is a joke and abuse of power,” said Graham.

In the report, “Destination Promotion Partnership Development with local soccer teams, Royal AM FC, Lamontville Golden Arrows FC and AmaZulu FC”, the city also requested approval for an increase in a sponsorship package for the three teams.

The municipality’s business support, tourism and markets unit said the inclusion of the Royal AM club in the Premier Soccer League was a boost to the city and indicated that working with the club would offer a great economic and marketing opportunity to the city because of the club’s status.

Both AmaZulu and Golden Arrows would also receive a big chunk of the pie as the council agreed to increase sponsorship to the clubs.

Lamontville Golden Arrows’ sponsorship has been increased from R3.5m to R5.25m. AmaZulu, which receives R2.5m annually, would now receive R3.75m yearly for the next three years.

Exco member Sipho Kaunda defended the request to fund the Royal AM, saying: “This was not a loan nor funding for the club, but an opportunity to boost the city in terms of marketing the city and using Royal AM to achieve this.”

Contacted for comment MaMkhize said: “The initiative might not directly impact taxpayers, but will assist in the development of the youth as the club will have initiatives for them.

“They will be part of a competitive sport and could one day be part of the teams. They will in turn become professional soccer players and contribute to the fiscus in the form of taxes, which will then be used to improve infrastructure for all taxpayers. It is a process.”

Royal AM chief executive Sinky Mnisi said no football club would exist without the assistance of grants provided by the government.

“It’s not about the wealth of families in football. We use grants and not family money. Football teams need funding support in the absence of sponsorships.

“We need to look for other alternatives including working with the City of eThekwini to ensure that the Moses Mabhida stadium does not become a white elephant with no activities.

“This a black-owned club and like many other white-owned sports teams which work with municipalities, we need every support to keep it afloat,” he said.

AmaZulu FC boss Sandile Zungu said the relationship between his club and the city was a commercial arrangement and “not a freebie”. He added this would benefit the city.

“AmaZulu choosing to play at Moses Mabhida Stadium will be hugely beneficial to eThekwini Municipality. So I wouldn't know what the basis would be for the DA’s concerns. They should be applauding AmaZulu for making sure Moses Mabhida, a world-class soccer stadium, does not become a white elephant,” he said.

With the exception of the DA, Exco approved the request to continue with its sponsorship to all the clubs.

Daily News

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