In a surprising move yesterday, Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati told councillors that the metro’s relationship with Chippa United was unsustainable.
This paves the way for the city to end its relationship with the club.
A report to be presented by city manager Andile Sihlahla in a council meeting yesterday seeking approval from council for a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two parties for the next three financial years took a surprising turn when Pakati moved against the report.
Previously, the club received R1-million a match in sponsorship, and the rejected proposal would have seen BCM increasing this to R1.3-million a match.
The unapproved MoU proposal was for the 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years.
This means that when the current agreement with the Port Elizabeth-based outfit ends at the end of the current PSL season, local soccer fans will in future have to travel to Port Elizabeth to watch Absa Premiership games.
Pakati said their relationship with Chippa was not sustainable, hence he shot it down.
“Due to the escalating prices of the partnership, we recommend that the city parts ways with the club.”
In a joking manner, senior ANC councillor Sindiswa Gomba said: “Mayor, am I hearing you correctly?”
Council speaker Alfred Mtsi said: “Yes, you are hearing him correctly.”
Pakati made the announcement to applause from other ANC councillors. The termination also received support from the opposition DA.
DA councillor Sue Bentley said the party fully supported ending the relationship as it was a concern to the DA that BCM paid R1-million a match and Chippa received the proceeds from ticket sales.
“We also disagreed that Sisa Dukashe became out of bounds for local teams to use.”
In the report, Sihlahla said following the acceptance of the proposal by Chippa United a local organising committee was formed and coordinated by the office of the erstwhile deputy mayor and Pakati.
The metro formed a partnership with the club in the previous two financial years, 2015-16 and 2016-2017, supporting the club financially and hosting some of its games in the city.
Sihlahla’s bid to sell the idea failed despite saying the partnership would help in branding exposure and marketing for BCM.
“Funding has been budgeted for and can be sourced from the sports development fund.
“The consideration shall be an all-inclusive amount of R8600000 VAT exclusive,” the report stated.
The amount was for six matches at a maximum of R1.3-million excluding VAT per match and a once-off marketing consideration of R500000 to Chippa United for brand alignment and promotion of the partnership.
The council’s decision comes just a week after club chairman Chippa Mpengesi said he wanted to make his team a true Eastern Cape side.
He said he wanted to take some games to Mthatha and Aliwal North instead of playing only in BCM and Port Elizabeth.
Contacted last night, Mpengesi declined to comment.
Before yesterday’s surprise turn of events, Pakati had boasted of trying to turn the metro into a sporting destination, firstly by ensuring that the Chilli Boys played some of their games in BCM.
He is on record saying that having Chippa play their games at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, the township economy had been boosted – something his administration was passionate about.
But the Daily Dispatch understands that Pakati’s mind was changed by fellow ANC councillors on Tuesday.
The Chilli Boys have enjoyed playing in BCM and Sisa Dukashe Stadium specifically – where they enjoy a good run.
Chippa’s only loss at the NU2 venue came at the hands of Ajax Cape Town last season, while teams like Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United, Lamontville Golden Arrows and the now relegated Highlands Park have played in Mdantsane.
The Chilli Boys played against Cape Town City in a league match in Mdantsane on Sunday, while the side will host Mamelodi Sundowns in a Telkom Knockout at the same venue this Sunday. — firstname.lastname@example.org