NEWS

Solly Msimanga Is Launching An Investigation Into The Failed Dinokeng Tribe One Festival

American artist Nicki Minaj was paid R10 million for a performance but the show was canned and the money wasn't refunded.

12/12/2016 14:54 SAST | Updated 12/12/2016 15:57 SAST
Alet Pretorius / Gallo Images
City of Tshwane executive mayor Solly Msimang called for three separate forensic investigations at his 100 days in office speech on Monday.

The ghosts of a failed music festival that was to be held in Cullinan are coming back to haunt the previous administration of the City of Tshwane.

Mayor Solly Msimanga has announced three forensic investigations to look into the multi-million rand flop that was Dinokeng Tribe One.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that I will be launching three forensic investigations into the Dinokeng Tribe One debacle," Msimanga said during his 100 days in office speech on Monday.

The festival was cancelled by the organisers a week prior to the big day in 2014, apparently owing to the city's failure to provide the infrastructure needed to host a world class festival. The event was to be headlined by Minaj, J Cole, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

"Site preparation and related infrastructure development required to host the festival, being the responsibility of the CoT, fell behind schedule to a material extent, such that it was no longer realistically possible to stage and deliver the festival to the scale and quality that the organisers had always planned," the organisers said in a statement at the time.

The City of Tshwane said in a statement at the time that the organisers had chosen an open space which had no infrastructure whatsoever for the venue, and requested the city to develop roads, install water supply and electricity and prepare the stage area, all of which the city delivered.

The show however never materialised despite money having been spent on marketing, paying artists and setting up the needed infrustructure. Former mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa at the time said R65 million was spent on the event, R40 million for infrastructure and R25 million for marketing, promotions, and securing artists.

Msimanga said the city would be looking into why money was never refunded despite the festival not going ahead.

"Money was paid and we want to know how it was paid and to who. We also want to know why we [city of Tshwane] didn't receive any of it back because the festival never happened," he said.

Msimanga added that a lot of infrustructure was put in place. He said the fact that it was also on private property did not sit well with the current administration. He said grass worth millions was laid, and both WiFi and street lighting were installed.

"The forensic report will give us the proper indication of how far it has gone," said Msimanga.

The forensic report would be completed in three months.

Ghost employees in the spotlight

The mayor announced a further two forensic reports to look at ghost employees on the city's payroll and payment for a substation in Mamelodi. He said he wants the investigation into the ghost employees in the city to assess how much money is being lost to them.

"This is something that has adversely affected departments like the national Department of Basic Education and we will be looking into how this affects the city because we have to be prudent with what money we do have and ensure that it is used in a manner that benefits the City and its residents," he said.

"An electricity substation was supposed to be built in Mamelodi. Money was paid but there is still no substation. The station cost R100 million. We need to understand and know what happened," he added.

Msimanga, who has been vocal about the municipality being bankrupt due to mismanagement of funds, said that the new administration has launched new programmes and mechanisms designed to save the city money.

Among these are the strategic sourcing of goods, an open tender system and e-procurement systems, all aimed at curbing maladministration, leakages in the supply chain process, poor business intelligence exercises, and the cost of delivering municipal services.

"This is to avoid occurrences such as the notorious 'shoe polish' debacle which saw millions of rands lost to whole scale malfeasance by way of inflation of goods that otherwise could've been procured at wholesale rates," he said.

An investigation by eNCA's Checkpoint uncovered serious price inflations for basic products, such as shoe polish. The city spent R300 on a light bulbs that would generally cost around R80 at a retail shop.

"As it is in the public domain, I, the acting city manager and the administration as a whole are dealing swiftly with it. Disciplinary processes in this regard are already underway," said Msimanga, who vowed that there would be no similar occurrences under his watch.