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DA: Statement by Athol Trollip, Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader, on expenditure on the National Youth Development Agency conference (28/11/2010)

28th November 2010

By: Bradley Dubbelman

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The DA can today reveal that, in addition to the R29 million allocated by the Presidency to the National Youth Development Agency’s totalitarian talk shop next month, the Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, has personally requested that provincial governments spend an additional R42 million on this scandalous nine-day event.

Mr. Chabane has written to each provincial government, requesting that they contribute R4 730 000 to the hosting of the festival, which includes R1.17 million on advertising, R1.2 million on various sports events, gala dinners and concerts, R85 000 on conference packs and R2 million on delegates' accommodation.

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That the Presidency has chosen to not only fund, but also put the full weight of its authority behind requests for additional funding on behalf of the NYDA, demonstrates a breathtakingly cavalier attitude towards public funds, in a country facing so many pressing service delivery needs. The sums involved are not insignificant either – if the state foots the bill for the entire event, which apparently has a R370 million budget, then the opportunity cost of that is 6 850 RDP houses, or the monthly salaries of 34 400 secondary school teachers.

The Western Cape provincial government immediately declined the Presidency’s request; we are submitting parliamentary questions in every other provincial legislature to establish whether the ANC’s provincial governments have contributed the amounts that Mr. Chabane requested.

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If they did, then they will have wasted an additional R37 million on this scandalous event, which we must remember was organised entirely by the ANC Youth League.

That a cent of state money has been spent on this outrageous event entirely justifies the DA Youth's decision to withdraw entirely from the National Youth Development Agency. This is an organisation that has been terminally compromised, and is now simply a vehicle for channeling funds towards ANC Youth League cadres – funds that are being used to fill meaningless positions, and funds that are being used to host massive junkets.

The DA reiterates its call to the President not to lend legitimacy to this extremist event by attending it. The Presidency should also immediately withdraw the request for provincial funding. The ANC Youth League should pay for this event. They put in the bid, they should now pay the costs.
 

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