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City of Cape Town slated for proposed R200 million investment in the ailing CTICC

The Good Party has denounced the City for what it says is a ludicrous R200 million investment into the ailing Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

The City approved the purchase of 50 000 Class “C” ordinary shares up to R200 million which the CTICC would sell to it during the 2022/23 financial year when, according to the proposed budget document, a cash flow shortage is projected.

The CTICC is expecting to raise R53 million in the year from share sales.

GOOD councillor Anton Louw said with reports pointing towards cost savings and initiatives by the CTICC, and with the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, there was no need for an extension as the company got by with R51 million.

Louw said residents should demand that mayor Hill-Lewis explain how the City intended to invest the money in a company that was not profitable, its benefit to ordinary people, and whether this would yield any dividends.

On the proposed budget document the City said the continuation of the State of Disaster and related lockdown levels meant that the CTICC was able to host events with up to 1 000 people in attendance which has allowed larger events to take place.

It said with the increase in events hosted, the company would likely sell Class C shares to the City during the financial year than was originally anticipated in the 2021/22 budget.

It further said the budget has been prepared taking into account the impact of current Covid-19 regulations on the operations during the budget year.

Stop CoCT founder Sandra Dickson questioned whether it was feasible to expect ratepayers to foot this bill.

“When the CTICC was created by CoCT, as a separate entity, it should have been clear to the City that a huge risk was taken to invest in a project that has nothing to do with service delivery or the City’s core function to provide services.

“This risk now materialised and has proven to be a drain on the City’s budget. A project as large as this is best left to the private sector to risk operating it at a profit.

“However, as with the Cape Town Stadium, the City is burdening ratepayers to pay for flagship and very risky projects, instead of protecting ratepayers’ money and providing first-class services to all Capetonians,” she said.

EFF chief whip in the council Mzubanzi Dambuza said they also rejected the proposal.

“Our position is clear that these funds can go to more important things that will benefit our people. This is no investment for the City but a programme to feed their comrades/ funders,” Dambuza said.


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