The Democratic Alliance fully supports the celebration of Youth Day – not just to acknowledge the sacrifices of the past but also the contribution that young people can make to the future of this country.

The R2.2 budget approved by the Premier for the national Youth Day celebrations hosted by the provincial arm of the National Youth Development Agency, at the Wolfson Stadium in KwaZekhele and to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma are exorbitant. This is a huge amount to spend on a single event. This expenditure needs to be monitored extremely carefully because after the NYDA splurged millions on the World Youth Festival, we do not have much confidence in their ability to ensure that this funding will be spent wisely.

But what is also of concern is the fact that this event has been put together at the last minute. This means that normal tender procedures will be by-passed. This province has a history of paying exorbitant amounts for these events where huge profits are made by middlemen with the actual work being sub-contracted.

For example, the Legislature to the People event in Cofimvaba last year was put out to tender at R1.9 million where the key service provider was only paid R1 million.

The DA will be posing a series of questions to the Office of the Premier in relation to a full breakdown of expenditure for this event. We will also query whether the organisers of the event have experience in event management and what they are being paid and whether any sub-contractors are involved.

In the context of high unemployment and a poor education system, this province cannot afford to waste a single cent.