DURBAN – The Democratic Alliance has accused the eThekwini municipality of wasting money on the Essence Festival held in Durban at the weekend.
The party claims the event was a failure and organisers resorted to giving away tickets to fill the stadium on Sunday, the closing night. It is estimated the municipality spent R46-million on the concert.
‘“Public funds were used to buy alcohol , that’s a matter of concern for us,” said DA KwaZulu-Natal leader Zwakele Mncwango. “Many people at the stadium got complementary tickets, even some councillors were given two of five tickets just to make sure the stadium filled.“
But the organisers of the festival say the DA is just trying to discredit the municipality. Durban Tourism’s Phillip Sithole said “statements like those will be coming from a person who is so desperate to discredit the event”.
The Inkatha Freedom Party agreed with the organisers, saying “attendance was excellent”.
The chairman of the IFP caucus in eThekwini, Mduduzi Nkosi, said: “I was there at the stadium, there were so many people, we counted thousands of people who were there.”
eThekwini municipality has promised to make the ticket sales records available to the public.