The African National Congress (ANC) in the eThekwini region on Friday denied that the municipality had spent millions of rands on holding a night vigil to wait for matric results earlier this week.
This comes after the eThekwini Municipality on Wednesday held a night vigil dubbed “Umlindelo wePhepha” at Gugu Dlamini Park near The Workshop to wait for matric results where some of Durban’s famous artists such as T’zozo, Babo and Sgwili performed.
The news of the night vigil caused an uproar on social media with figures of R6 million and R2 million being bandied about as the amount the event had set back ratepayers.
In a statement, ANC eThekwini regional secretary Bheki Ntuli said the party had learned with shock and dismay the kind of accusations levelled against it for the so-called “Umlindelo wePhepha”.
“The ANC in the eThekwini region would like to state categorically clear that the amount of money being bandied in the media is false. It is not R6 million or R2 million which was spent there,” Ntuli said.
“The money spent by the municipality to support the programme, we have been advised it’s R750 000. This was partly for the security and wellbeing of pupils from around the city who were waiting for their results.”
Ntuli defended the night vigil and said that “Umlindelo wePhepha” was an individual’s initiative which had been taking place for the last five years.
“eThekwini municipality was only approached to assist because the initiative was being taken to a central area where more pupils would be able to attend,” Ntuli said.
When the news broke, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal condemned the expenditure, saying the money could have been better spent on immediate needs of student funding as tertiary institutions would be opening soon.
On Wednesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the overall 2016 matric results and pass rate of 72.5 percent with KZN boosting its pass rate from 61.6 percent to 69.5 percent.
– African News Agency (ANA)