The Democratic Alliance in the eThekwini Metro says it will write to the city manager to prevent public coffers being used to record an album with former president Jacob Zuma.
DA councillor Nicole Graham on Wednesday slammed media reports that the City’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit would be recording struggle songs with Zuma in April.
“This record deal is blatant patronage, where the people’s money will be used to finance the former president’s lifestyle,” Graham charged.
Parks, Culture and Recreation Unit head Thembinkosi Ngcobo recently visited Zuma, saying the record deal would boost economic development by promoting cultural activities.
“This proposal has not served before any committee of Council, nor has it been adopted by the Council. The DA has been calling for greater accountability and functionality of the city’s parks unit. The unit has seemingly gone rogue, abandoning many of its core functions in favour of flashy events and concerts,” Graham said.
While the country’s history held immense value, “it is impossible that any rational person would believe that a corrupt and disgraced former president singing ANC struggle songs holds any benefit to the people of eThekwini”, she added.
“The DA will fight this matter tooth and nail in the interests of all who prioritise service delivery over politics.”
A positive influence on society
Responding to the move from the DA, Ngcobo said that the production of the album was part of the general functions of the municipality.
He said that, during apartheid, the municipality would be responsible for enforcing segregation, citing the restrictions on black people at Durban beaches.
“Black people’s culture was seen as backward. Black people never formed part of the nation we had during that time. The message of this album will influence our society positively. It is an important part of our country’s history.”
Ngcobo added that the City used pre-allocated monies in its budget to fund art projects.
“We record many youth in the city. These are never questioned.”
He said the project was part of his department’s mandate to encourage social cohesion, arts, culture and heritage.