In a report tabled at the Finance Portfolio Committee of the City of Cape Town 5th of April 2013 the original cost of building the stadium was calculated at R4 244 377 313 Billion Rand. My calculation as per the document suggests that the operating expenditure of the stadium from the 21 Dec 2009 until June 2013 is projected to calculate R 328 270 422. Income for the period 21 December 2009 until Feb 2013 is calculated at R 35 277 735. This suggests that the stadium accumulated a loss of about R 292 992 687 over a period of about 43 months

The document breaks up the expenditure detail from 21 December 2009 to December 2010 @ R65 533 056. From January 2011 to June 2011 the expenditure was recorded @ R 23 882 404, from July 2011 to June 2012 @ R 56 688 135 and from July 2012 to June 2013 @ R181 166 727. The document also suggests that some expenditure represents primary costs while others represents primary plus secondary costs whatever that may mean.

During the course of the discussion, the Deputy Mayor suggested that the data is incomplete and inconsistent. While there was no consensus on this by the official presenting the report, the official was cautioned by the Executive Director of Finance when I asked the official if my calculations was correct and if he agreed with it. The official doing the presentation agreed but was again told to reconsider since “I may report this matter to the media”. The official was clearly taken aback, an attempted to recant his words of agreement after he was informed that the report was not signed off by the Executive director and it was only the officials name attached to the report.

The fact that I had requested this report about 1 year and 4 months ago and I had to ask repeatedly for the report on a monthly basis only to receive what was described by the Deputy Mayor as incomplete and inconsistent was disturbing. Either we have overpaid incompetent finance staff or something is amiss? What is apparent from this meeting and the time that it took to compile the report is that few people actually know the true cost of the stadium expenditure, this was all but admitted by one official and this is probably available from the recordings of the meeting. While we live in a city that is experiencing rates, water, electricity and an ever increasing cost of living how can we as citizens allow R328 270 422 to be spent on a stadium over such a short period of time.

With regards to the discussion the following must be emphasize:

 

[1] The report was overdue one year and six months? This information is available from the Finance Committee Secretariat.

[2] The report was not objected to during the private caucus discussion otherwise how did it make it onto the Finance Portfolio Committee Agenda which is open to the general public and the media?

[3] It appears as if none of the relevant officials before the meeting read the report as there was no objections until I started asking questions based on the figures in the report?

[4] Why did the presenter of the report agree with all my calculations with regards to expenditure until he was cautioned to do otherwise by the Executive Director?

[5] What is the value of having highly paid managers if they do not read reports they are responsible for?

[6] Based on the fact that the figures were described as inaccurate and inconsistent, what evidence is available to suggest that the figures bantered about in the past and in the future is correct?

[7] What should be done if a senior finance manager publically states in a committee meeting that it is impossible to unscramble an egg therefore no-one really knows what the stadium costs?

[8] In a city where citizens are buckling under rates, water, electricity and general living increases, is it acceptable for politicians and officials to throw money into a project and not know the accumulative costs?

 

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress