This, as opposition parties in the Free State Legislature demands answers as to whether the provincial Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation is benefitting from the Macufe events.
It is alleged that this annual festival, which has reached its 21st year and attracts approximately 200 000 people to the city, is a money-laundering scheme to benefit only the politically connected. According to the DA’s spokesperson on Public Accounts and Finance, David van Vuuren, the department has in the past years not had much of a return on investment from the contract they have signed with the company that organises this festival – C Squared – despite the millions they have to cough up in their service level agreement with the company.
Van Vuuren told OFM News that the department’s 2017/18 audit outcomes that were tabled last week at the Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts, painted a bleak picture and is a cause for concern. He says the company has in the past year alone been paid R47 million to manage the event, without the department benefitting from money collected at the gates or from sponsors.
The party says they are considering taking legal action or taking the matter to the Office of the Public Protector, should the department not respond to their enquires nor produce the requested documents by the end of the week.
The Department’s spokesperson, Tankiso Zola, opted to communicate with OFM News via email and is yet to respond to a set of questions on the matter.
KATLEHO MORAPELA / OFM News