AG must probe millions spent on Commonwealth Games: DA

Picture Credit: Twitter @MbalulaFikile

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has announced it will request the Auditor General (AG) to probe whether funds used on the country’s failed Commonwealth Games bid amounts to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Last week Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that Durban had lost the rights to host the 2022 edition of the games due to financial constraints.

The DA’s Tsepo Mhlongo said on Monday that they would be requesting the AG Kimi Makwetu to probe an amount of R 118 million spent in attempt to secure hosting of the games.

“A special AG investigation must probe precisely how much of the public’s money was spent during the bidding process, and whether it was fruitless and wasteful expenditure on the part of Minister Mbalula, who has no regard for cost-effective measures, in a country where the majority of South Africans can barely afford to put food on the table,” said Mhlongo.

Mhlong further criticised the Minister saying “Mbalula and his delegation failed to present a feasible budget on numerous occasions, but SASCOC also failed to do a financial impact assessment to determine the impact of South Africa hosting such an event.”

Last week the Minister described the loss of the R118 million as “regrettable.”

“We can’t make the country bankrupt with the Commonwealth games. Greece is still bankrupt because of the Olympics,” said Mbalula during a press conference.

Durban was awarded the rights to host the games in 2015 after the only other contender Edmonton in Canada, withdrew in February 2015.

The DA has also written to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation requesting that the Minister be summoned in order to account for the R118 million.

Mbalula criticised the DA in a tweet saying they were grandstanding over the issue.