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Pietermaritzburg - Msunduzi Municipality councillors who want to support Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup final next month will have to pay for themselves as the municipality does not have money for such excesses, Msunduzi Speaker Jabu Ngubo said on Wednesday.

Ngubo was speaking during a council sitting in response to a request from councillors for the City to fund the trip to the final. 

Maritzburg United will play the Free State Stars in the final in Cape Town on May 19. 

African National Congress (ANC) councillor Sipho Madonda noted that the team was doing well and had thus lifted the mood both in the city and KwaZulu-Natal. 

"This vindicates our decision to sponsor this team because now this City will be represented in the knockout final," said Madonda.  

This was in reference to the R10 million sponsorship deal entered into between the two teams which raised the ire of opposition parties years ago.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillor Dennis Ntombela said the City and the team had a good relationship and that the councillors should attend the final and the City should foot the bill. 

"Surely Speaker the municipality cannot collapse just because we financed the trip to go and provide support to our team," said Ntombela. 

Ngubo however insisted that the matter does not even need to be discussed at management level as council had taken a resolution to curb unnecessary expenditure. 

"There is an agreement in principle that given our current financial position we can do without unnecessary items, including events."

The municipality has been under severe financial strain this year, which prompted for calls for the municipality senior officials to provide a turnaround plan and the revenue enhancement strategy. Over the past weeks the municipality has managed to collect nearly R100 million.

African News Agency/ANA