United Democratic MovementThe United Democratic Movement (UDM) in KwaZulu-Natal, has noted how the Msinga Local Municipality is wasting money, the latest insult to this community being the issuing of a tender for the “Supply of beef-stew meat for R10 000 for the period of 12 months”. The explanation given later was that it is for the catering for the mayor’s so-called “weekly imbizos”.

Given the regularity of these events, just the meat for the “Msinga Meaty Thursday Mayoral Gigs”, will actually cost R360,000 a year. But, there is more to this raw-deal than meets the eye, when one considers the other ingredients of beef stew, as well as a starch and vegetables for the meal, then drinks and fruits. Not to mention a hired tent and outdoor furniture, hiring or buying pots and cooking utensils, diesel for the generator and entertainment. There are also fifty food-parcels per event, that are meant for the needy that will be misdirected and will end up rewarding the Msinga ruling party loyalists for patronage. There goes R9 million of the budget.

To add further perspective to this wastage in the name of liaising with the people, these useless mayoral imbizos are a replication of the Operation Sukuma Sakhe war-rooms, for which R200,000 is already provided for in the annual budget, and yet another R5 million is blown annually on the exorbitantly expensive Integrated Development Plan budget event.

The UDM in KwaZulu-Natal understands the value of stakeholder engagement and that public representatives must make contact with their constituents, but this state of affairs has seen this public relations tool taken too far.

Former Msinga Mayor, Dr FJ Skhakhane, in a 2015 budget speech remarked that: “It is the responsibility of this Municipality to ensure that LED is promoted in the Msinga area for the benefit of its community

By hosting these frivolous “meaty” events, the Msinga Local Municipality is making a mockery of its own Local Economic Development (LED) programmes that is supposed to assist the local youth to uplift themselves economically. It should rather put its money where its mouth is, by redirecting a portion of its weekly spend on the useless “mayoral imbizos” towards sustainable, wealth-creating programmes, such as the piggery business subsidy that it had announced as one of its LED programmes.

As a simple business model, the municipality could redirect the R10,000 it intends to spend on catering beef – which will only benefit a big/established business – and rather invest that money in its already announced piggery programme and, with the municipality then being a steady pork customer, it would in turn boost a sustainable local business that holds real, long-term benefits for this community.


Issued by:

Mr Boysey Gumede

UDM in KwaZulu-Natal Interim Provincial Secretary