It’s interesting to know that some municipalities are not really affected by the harsh effect of economic crisis that has plagued the state for a while now. During an executive council meeting on Tuesday, it was revealed that the Durban city was expected to fork out R3.7m to help bring American rappers, T.I. and Anaconda star Nicki Minaj for a concert.
The city’s new decision came just a week after the city’s 40 Councillors planned to take a luxury cruise to the Portuguese Islands off Mozambique, at a cost of R160 000, as part of a maritime conference
The said plan was later disrupted after the ANC in the province barred all its Councillors from participating in the cruise which was due to take place over the weekend of voter registration.
T.I who would be performing in Durban for the first time is expected to perform during his T.I. Durban Tour on March 11. Computicket revealed that he will be performing at the Durban Botanical Gardens.
Also, the total sum of R250,000 is expected to be spent on marketing and advertising for the Nicki Minaj Tour which is expected to take place on March 20 while R1.5m will go towards hiring the Moses Mabhida Stadium, and logistics for the concert. Hence, the sum of R3 705 000 would be spent on both artists including VAT.
Buzzsouthafrica gathered that there would be a special meeting of all executives on Friday where the two events will be deliberated upon and possibly approved as the matter was deferred to the economic development and planning committee for discussion.
However, the DA’s Zwakele Mncwango has questioned the need for such rash spending. First he argued that the ANC exco members appeared to be divided on the matter and even requested a caucus meeting during the sitting. Then he pointed out that the city manager had no right to approve things like that without first giving room for the executives to deliberate on it.
Mncwango referred to the money meant for the event as an extravagant spending. He then asked some vital questions;
This is wasteful expenditure, considering that we are facing tough economic times. They will spend the money anyway. Why are they running away from discussing the matter?
They are willing to spend R3.7m on international artists when we face water restrictions. How will Nicki Minaj benefit Durban?
Agreeing to Mncwango’s assertion, NFP Councillor Bongiwe Mtshali said he was unimpressed by the city manager’s decision. “The city is willing to spend money on international stars, while people are protesting for service delivery. It would have been better if the concert was going to benefit the youth, but this is just entertainment,” he said.
Meanwhile, IFP’s Mdu Nkosi said that they would have no problem with the decision to spend for the event provided that it was earlier budgeted for went on to question why the matter had been postponed.
This is going to benefit Durban economically and we need this for the hospitality industry.
We don’t understand why they need to defer the matter when T.I. is expected to be in Durban on Friday.
The head of the Durban Tourism Phillip Sithole has also stated that Durban would have a huge economic benefit if the event takes place. “The hotel occupancy is expected to be more than 80% during the hosting of these events, there will be hundreds of temporary jobs, related business opportunities and the economic spend of more than R30 million for both events.”