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eThekwini Municipality’s spend on Salga games ‘cut to bone’ after calls to slash costs

The amount of money to be spent by the eThekwini Municipality on the upcoming SA Local Government Association (Salga) games has been reduced.

Durban City Hall. File Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 29, 2022

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Durban - The amount of money to be spent by the eThekwini Municipality on the upcoming SA Local Government Association (Salga) games has been reduced from R7million to R5.8m.

A report tabled before the executive committee showed that city officials had managed to reduce the expenditure by more than R1m following demands by councillors for the costs to be cut.

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However, the DA said the R5.8m expenditure was still too high and called for further cuts.

The city came under fire last week following revelations that it planned to spend more than R7m to take part in the Salga games.

The money was to be spent on Salga uniforms, catering, food and transport.

The municipality was planning to send more than 300 people on the trip, including 40 councillors.

The revelations sparked outrage from all parties in the council who described the expenditure as too high. The city officials were ordered to rework the figures.

The Community Services Committee returned with a revised report yesterday and the committee’s chairperson Zama Sokhabase said they had cut the expenditure to the bone, and there was no more space to make any more cuts.

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The DA said with further cuts, the municipality could cut the budget in half.

The revised report said the budget had been reduced from R7 050 000 to R5 800 000. It said there would be a total delegation of 276 athletes, 36 technical officials, 26 support staff and 40 political leaders to participate in the 2022 Salga games, which will be held in Amajuba District Municipality from December 1 to 4.

The report added that the Salga games were part of the holistic sustainable and integrated sport development programmes which sought to identify and nurture talent in KwaZulu-Natal in collaboration with the provincial federations and other stakeholders.

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Mthethwa said the DA’s objection was not a reflection on the value they placed on the games, but strictly a matter of cost.

“We are in support of the games, that is not at issue. We feel that if the city could reduce the number of people travelling, it could further reduce the cost. We were hoping for bigger cuts than presented.”

He said the number of athletes should not be reduced but the city could cut the number of people travelling such as officials, members of the technical team and councillors.

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He said reducing the number of people travelling would automatically reduce the cost of food and accommodation.

He also called on the city to reduce the R600 000 it planned to spend on hiring transport and instead use its own fleet.

But Sokhabase said it was impossible to make further reductions, pointing out that the councillors played an important role at the games.

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