There must be many in eThekwini who are appalled and outraged at the expense of R22 million of ratepayers’ money on statues to commemorate OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela (The Mercury, 2 June).
Even if eThekwini’s finances were in order, such expenditure is reckless and irresponsible. But of course that is not the case. As a municipality it has been reduced to a state that is unprecedented in its 169-year history: requiring support from the provincial and national governments to manage its own affairs (Section 154 intervention).
Knowing how the ANC exploits the public purse, there can be no doubt that a sizeable chunk of the R22 million has gone into the pockets of comrades and middlemen and that the actual cost of those statues is a great deal less.
The colonial-era statues of Sir John Robinson and Sir Harry Escombe outside the City Hall were paid for privately by colonists – not by the city treasury. Why did the ANC not tap its legions of tenderpreneurs to finance the statues of Tambo and Mandela?