In response to the Deputy Mayors “Confusion over stadium costs” (April 9) it is appropriate to note that to error is human. However, what must be considered is that the “inaccurate and inconsistent report” was requested by myself and supported by both the ANC and DA more than a year ago.
Module 5 of the Executive Leadership Development Programme at the School of Government at the University of the Western Cape, states that “It is not possible for Councillors to have in-depth knowledge of all the specialized and professional aspects of municipal affairs. They rely on the objectivity and quality of the reports the Council receives from professional and expert municipal officials. As a result, and in terms of trust, honesty and integrity, the quality of their relationship largely determines the quality of Councils policies, programs and projects”. This implies that Councillors are dependent on officials to simplify and report complex issues correctly. What is the value of having highly paid officials if they produce seriously faulty reports? What have we learnt from the stadiums financial plans in 2008/9/10, were ratepayers given correct costing and projections about feasibility?
What also needs to be mentioned is that the “inaccurate” report passed through both the DA and ANC caucus without problem. “Finance officials pointed out that the data provided was inconsistent” was only realized and suggested after I persisted on confirmation that the data was correct. Had I not hassled, the report which was for information purposes would have been noted without question.
While most agree that the Stadium is iconic and a sustainable solution must be attained, the quote that “the city is working hard to minimize the costs to the ratepayers” must be financially and not academically or aesthetically explained. The general retorts from senior DA Councillors were that municipal facilities including the stadium are not built to be profitable, is noteworthy.
Since Portfolio Committees have general oversight over the administration function, it is difficult for Councillors to respond, when information is lacking or poorly presented. Since the purpose of the report was specifically requested “to provide financial details for the Cape Town Stadium”, why was the detail of the Urban Park and the greater Green Point Common “maybe” added?
While it would be convenient to blame the Deputy Mayor for the entire fiasco it is important to note that the stadium was primarily conceived by an ANC led administration. One has to acknowledge the chutzpa of the Deputy Mayor who is prepared to adopt and care for what is really a preceding administrations baby.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress