POLL | Is R5m spent on Christmas lights justified for tourism attraction?
While some municipalities have either cut budgets or suspended Christmas light decorations, the Buffalo City metro in East London has spent R5.1m on festive lights.
The Sunday Times put a spotlight on the spending by some municipalities for Christmas light decorations. The coastal town came out top, with its budget exceeding that of the country’s biggest tourism hub, Cape Town, which is spending R3m on lights.
Buffalo City spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the decorations, most of which are on the beachfront, were an important tourist attraction.
“The lights are an important tourism attraction that pull visitors from all over the country and beyond to inject a much-needed financial boost for our city,” he said. “We are renowned as a city that has one of the best Christmas light decorations in the country, and every year we strive for new attractions to create amazing designs.”
The Johannesburg municipality, meanwhile, said it suspended the decorations, citing load-shedding. City of Johannesburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said Christmas lights were suspended five years ago because of the power cuts.
Buffalo City's spending on the decorations caused a stir on social media, with some people lambasting the municipality and saying R5.1m for decorations put up for a few weeks was too much.
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