Zululand District Municipality disputes alleged R5 million breakfast jaunt tag
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Durban – The Zululand District Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal has broken its silence over the now controversial breakfast which critics claimed cost R5 million, saying the punted price tag is completely incorrect and was thumb-sucked.
Breaking his silence, the district’s Mayor, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, stuck to his guns and said the breakfast held in Durban on Friday last week yielded the intended results of wooing investors to invest in the district.
The breakfast set tongues wagging and caused protests, with the ANC in the Mzala Nxumalo region (Zululand district) alleging the gathering was aimed at abusing municipal resources to advance the political agenda of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) where the district was failing to provide basic services like water.
Further, the ANC alleged the breakfast was staged in Durban to be closer to the venue where the IFP was to later in the day launch its local government election manifesto.
Things got tense outside the host venue of the breakfast when some residents from the district drove to Durban to stage a heated picket.
The breakfast was hosted at the Elangeni Hotel which is located along the Durban beachfront.
The uproar over the breakfast prompted the province’s MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs, Sipho Hlomuka, to institute a probe over the matter.
However, Buthelezi is not backing down, telling Independent Media on Wednesday the R5 million figure is way off the mark.
“We feel we must clarify the mischievous claims which sought to achieve political scores that the business breakfast held at Elangeni cost R5 million. These are the figures. Venue cost: R71 000 excl VAT and consists of round tables, chairs, table cloths, AV pack, venue screen, projectors, seamless scaler/switcher, laptop, PA system, line microphone, PC sound and technician, roving Mics, parking, food and beverages: R46 200 excl VAT. NB: These costs cater for 100 people. Sub Total excl VAT R117 200. Sub Total incl VAT R134 780.”
Buthelezi added that, if need be, these figures can be cross-checked with the hotel management.
“You can verify with Elangeni/Maharani Hotel, I don't know where Cogta got the R5 million from. We planned for 100 delegates. On the day 167 delegates pitched up. So we expect to pay a further R37 000 once we get the invoice from the hotel. The event was a resounding success.“