DA submits PAIA application on Theewaterskloof officials Rugby World Cup jaunt

Issued by Isaac Sileku MPP – DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Local Government
19 Mar 2024 in Press Statements

Note to broadcasters: Please find attached English and Afrikaans audio clips

Considering the lack of transparency by the Theewaterskloof Municipality surrounding Deputy Mayor John Michels and speaker Derick Appel’s 2023 Rugby World Cup trip, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has initiated proceedings under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to compel the municipality to disclose pertinent details. Despite repeated attempts to obtain information regarding this trip through written questions, the municipality has remained uncooperative.

The Theewaterskloof Municipality, led by the PA/ANC/GOOD coalition of corruption, saw fit to send Michels and Appel to the World Cup last October under the guise of an official state visit.

It is deeply concerning that under the current leadership, the Theewaterskloof Municipality has been tainted by allegations of corruption and incompetence, resulting in a marked decline in the provision of essential services. Public officials must prioritize the welfare of the citizens they serve above personal interests.

Questions asked in the PAIA application include:

  • A full cost breakdown of the trip;
  • Who funded the trip;
  • Whether the council was aware of and approved the trip; if so, whether this trip was considered an official state visit, and;
  • Whether the Theewaterskloof officials signed any agreements with any organisation while in France?

The DA’s pursuit of information aims to ascertain the true motives behind this excursion and whether municipal funds, including daily allowances, have been improperly utilized. Residents’ tax contributions should be spent on essential services, not luxurious trips abroad.

MPP Isaac Sileku said: “The PAIA Act affords us the constitutional right to access information held by the Theewaterskloof Municipality. We expect the municipality to comply with the law and provide the requested information promptly.

The DA remains committed to upholding transparency and accountability in governance, safeguarding taxpayers’ interests, and ensuring that public officials are held to the highest standards of integrity and responsibility.”