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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

KZN municipality’s egg-spensive R5 million business breakfast under spotlight

The ANC says the event also conveniently 'coincided with the launch of the IFP election manifesto'.

KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, wants his department to investigate why the Zululand District Municipality allegedly blew R5 million on a business breakfast.

The breakfast meeting took place at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban last week.

The event was attended by business heavyweights, including AmaZulu FC owner Sandile Zungu, Ithala Bank chief executive Pearl Bengu, the Public Investment Corporation and Boxer Stores.

The breakfast was organised to celebrate the newly built Babanango Game Reserve and put Zululand on the map.

The opening of Babanango is expected to boost the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)-led district economy and create job opportunities.

The project is backed by German philanthropist Helms Weisser and his wife, Barbara, who invested R500 million.

While the reserve and its related economic opportunities are situated in Zululand, the event was held in Durban.

‘We have bacon and eggs in Zululand’

“The investigation will determine whether council approval was sought for the expenditure and any other issues relating to the hosting of the so-called breakfast,” said Hlomuka.

Media reports in Durban say the meeting meant to address the matter of funding for the event did not occur because most of the IFP councillors that are part of the council were already in Durban.

“The same district municipality which could not sit a scheduled full council meeting in compliance with local government regulations as they were already in Durban for party political work,” said ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela in a statement.

During the event, a group protested outside the hotel. They were demanding for the mayor to come down and speak to them. They had placards reading: “We have no water in Nongoma: we have eggs and bacon in Zululand.”

The ANC in KZN condemned this “flagrant abuse of state resources for political campaigning by the IFP”.

The party also slammed IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi for his participation in the event, saying it “implies that he is complicit in this blatant and corrupt act and is condoning it”.

The ANC said the event also conveniently “coincided with the launch of the IFP election manifesto”.

Hlomuka has warned municipalities that his department will not hesitate to act where there are allegations of wrongdoing.

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