eThekwini slaps DA with a R500k parking bill for Zuma march

06 October 2017 - 15:13 By Nathi Olifant
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

ANC-run eThekwini Municipality has slapped the Democratic Alliance with a half a million rand unpaid parking bill for the use of the old Natal Command parking area during the Zuma Must Fall march in April.

The City’s chairperson of community services‚ councillor Zama Sokhabase threatened to take legal action after the DA made it clear it would not pay the R576 000 bill incurred on April 7.

Initially‚ the DA booked 300m2‚ which would have cost R1 800‚ of the municipal-owned property for the organisers of the march‚ which was attended by various religious organisations and the party.

However‚ on the day of the event the eThekwini Municipality observed that the entire area (about 96 000m2) was occupied.

Sokhabase said she was not surprised by the “arrogance of the Democratic Alliance and its friends‚ Save SA”.

She said it was clear that the DA had no respect for public funds and continued to squander municipal resources for its narrow political agenda as it recently did in the City of Cape Town said Sokhabase.

“We call on councillor Sharon Hoosen‚ who serves as an Exco member and a party chief whip DA‚ to morally lead by example and pay the outstanding amount to the city for using municipal property without permission‚” said Sokhabase.

“We will be seeking legal advice in order [to] properly respond to the arrogance of the DA‚ which refuses to pay. We are concerned that if we don’t deal with this matter now you will end with a situation like in other cities whereby the DA mayor looted a million rand to upgrade her private home in the midst of poverty‚” said Sokhabase.

The City said Hoosen was informed of this debt but had not responded.

"Even the contract they signed is binding‚ so they can’t just get away from this‚” said Sokhabase.

The City said Clause 6.3 of the contract reads: “The lessee (DA) shall be liable to pay a total invoice value of R6 per square metre for 300 square metres‚ which totals R1 800 for the use of the site. Should the lessee exceed the requested space‚ the lessee shall be liable to pay the full cost of the total square metres of the venue.”

Hoosen came out guns blazing‚ saying the assertion by the ANC that the DA owes the city money is ludicrous.

She said the DA had a signed lease agreement in its possession as well as proof of payment made.

“The ANC should focus their attention on fixing the City's billing crisis. It comes as no surprise therefore that they cannot reconcile a simple transaction such as the hire of a venue. In fact‚ it is the ANC that has a reputation of not paying its suppliers‚ which is why service providers all over the country ask for upfront payment from the ANC‚” she said.

Hoosen added that the DA was fully aware that this allegation was in response to her charging Mayor Zandile Gumede for using the city hall for ANC functions‚ in contravention of the councillors’ code of conduct.

“I will continue to pursue that matter and these frivolous attempts by the ANC to scare me off will not work‚” she said. “If there were any truth to the allegation‚ then the ANC should explain why the City has not issued a letter of demand or pursued the outstanding debt through legal means.”

DA MP Haniff Hoosen‚ who organised the march‚ said the party had honoured its contractual agreement with the municipality‚ which included the payment of the R1 800 for the booked space.