ActionSA rejects the recommendation made by eThekwini Municipality to host city official’s client meetings at The Pencil Club, an elite members-only club located in uMhlanga, which will cost eThekwini ratepayer R16 000 per day, excluding refreshments. The report was tabled before this week’s Economic Development and Planning committee and ActionSA voted against it.
While ActionSA has no objections against the club, however there is no denying that there are numerous places in and around Durban that could accommodate meetings without having to dig deep into ratepayer pockets.
Unfortunately, this demonstrates how out of touch the leaders of eThekwini are with the reality of struggling residents.
In a Metro that ranks as one of the least performing Metropolitan Municipalities in South Africa, it is mind-blowing that the city leadership would consider such frivolous spend, much less bring a report to council.
One would believe that this request made to the Economic Development & Planning Committee for the approval of the use of the venue would be rejected by all Councillors but unfortunately the coalition of the ANC, EFF and NFP supported the recommendation. The report suggests that officials need fancy establishment to showcase what the municipality can do to facilitate investment, we reject that on the basis that investors understand the role of municipalities.
The city officials can always use city hall offices, Moses Mabhida and the ICC for meetings and take visitors on a tour around the city if the intention is to show them the catalytic projects.
We are calling on all parties including the coalition partners to join hands with ActionSA and reject this recommendation in the full council meeting next week.
All Councillors have a constitutional obligation to make conscious decisions for the betterment of the lives of the people in eThekwini, therefore ActionSA rejects this proposal with the contempt it deserves as we believe that these funds should be channelled towards the delivery of services to the people of eThekwini.