Multi-million rands deal between Royal AM, municipal scrutinised

The decision by the ANC-led Msunduzi municipality council in KwaZulu-Natal to fork out millions of rands has been called out as an offside.

Following the relegation of Maritzburg United from the top-flight Premier Soccer League (PSL) last season, the ANC majority in the municipal council stripped the club of funding and pushed through a lucrative R27-million sponsorship deal as a financial aid to Royal AM.

Maritzburg United now plays in the lower division.

At the heart of the controversial arrangement was that Royal AM should be compensated for advertising the city, which is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, and also for its use of the Harry Gwala Stadium in their PSL games.

In the court papers seen by Sunday World and filed in the high court in Pietermaritzburg, the DA contends that the deal did not go through a competitive bid.

“The contract was not transparent and it ignored the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act 5 of 2000,” read the court papers in part.

“The municipality is also in a perilous financial position.

“As set out in detail below, the National Treasury has concluded that the municipality’s budget is unfunded, not credible and sustainable.”

For more than four years, the Msunduzi local municipality has been placed under administration by the provincial government.

The DA also believes that Royal AM, which is owned by multi-millionaire businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, is self-sufficient and does not need funding from the struggling municipality.

In a separate matter, Sunday World reported on Wednesday that a bitter feud over allegations that the eThekwini metro footed the bill for the nullified ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) KwaZulu-Natal elective conference has taken a new twist.

The ActionSA in KwaZulu-Natal is now leading a charge calling for a full-scale investigation on who funded the conference held at the iconic Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) over four days in August.

According to Zwakele Mncwango, ActionSA provincial chairperson, the metro and the ICC covertly entered into an agreement under the pretext that the gathering was going to be a women’s month event.

However, said Mncwango, the event was later turned into an elective conference for the governing party’s women’s structure.

“There was no agreement between the ANC and the ICC. Instead, an invoice of about R4.7-million was issued to the city,” Mncwango said.

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