John Cupido

John Cupido, MPL

Sport, recreation, art and culture portfolio committee member John Cupido said the legislature must take a tougher stance against civil servants that are not doing their work properly. Cupido was talking during the debate last week on the annual report of the Department of Sport, Recreation, Art and Culture.

“If it’s from a lack of training, we must train them; if they are corrupt we must get rid of them,” he said.

“The rot usually starts at the top. We all know that middle and lower level staff don’t want to seem more capable than their superiors, and those superiors are usually those that were given their positions. They did not earn them – they will always get only false respect. Meanwhile the taxpayers and the poorest of the poor suffer.

“There are staff that completely disregard supply chain management policy and have committed fraudulent acts. We need to hold these people accountable for their actions. There is a large amount of under-expenditure. We are not spending money where and when it is supposed to be spent.

“Instead of wasting money on many unsustainable smaller projects that give no real value we need to look at the bigger picture,” he said.

“What we need to do is:

  • Upgrade our libraries, buy more books, especially larger print books for new readers and the elderly. We need to place them where our children want to be and within modern facilities.
  • We need to maintain income raising facilities like Bayworld in Port Elizabeth that was a jewel in the Eastern Cape’s crown during its heyday, but has been neglected to ruin by this provincial government.
  • We need to do substantial planning and funding into building the brand and developing the talent of the Southern Kings. We need to do what KZN has done for the Sharks. We need to work at retaining talent and developing new talent. I firmly believe that the key to having a merit-based racially diverse Springbok Rugby Team is by supporting rugby development right here in the Eastern Cape. We are the only province where a large percentage of all cultural groups enjoy rugby.
  • We need to do exactly the same with soccer in the province. With provincial backing I believe that we can develop Bay United into a team that can move up to the Premier League and be a formidable force.
  • By developing strongly branded and supported Bay United and Southern Kings teams, the income derived from having more bigger name games and events will significantly help in raising the funds to maintain the first World Cup stadium to be completed.
  • To secure more significant sporting and cultural events for our beautiful province, it is imperative that a lobbying unit is created, concentrating purely on securing those events that will bring tourists and their money to the province and our economy.
  • What are events without proper facilities? Taxpayer, via the department, gave Buffalo City R50 million to upgrade the Buffalo City Stadium. The city decided to split that amount between several facilities. As it says in the committee’s report – what do we have to show for it?
  • I challenge the MEC to tell us what she is going to do about the Mthatha stadium. It saddens me to see something as beautiful as the concept of that multi-purpose stadium go to waste because no forward planning, in fact, none at all at this stage, was done. What are we telling the sporting community and the community in general? That they are not good enough to receive good quality facilities? That their talent is just not worth it? We need to do our utmost best to make sure that stadium does not become another ANC white elephant,” he said.

“Let us work together and fix just one aspect of the community – soon the others will follow.”

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