Great R1m Christmas rip-off


Butterworth’s Mnquma municipality stands accused of spending close to R1 million on a single Christmas tree and some Christmas lights which‚ according to other estimates‚ should have cost a quarter of the price.

The Hawks have now been asked to investigate this and other dodgy transactions amounting to about R5-million which have allegedly been paid out since September at the Eastern Cape municipality.

This includes a charge of R103‚000 for 500 cable ties at R206 each.

An online search revealed that these cable ties cost around R89 for a pack of 50‚ or R890 for 500 of them.

The owner of an Eastern Cape-based lighting company told the Daily Dispatch newspaper the end result “was very basic and amateurish”.

“What’s in Butterworth is an absolute joke – half of it isn’t even working. I wouldn’t have charged anything more than R350‚000.”

A breakdown of the lights tender includes:

  • R322‚220 for a six-meter Christmas tree;
  • R237‚770 for Christmas lights in Centane and Ngqamakhwe;
  • R77‚308 for a stand-alone pole with star-shaped LED rope.

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