Published on : Thursday, July 1, 2021
The Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) has reportedly run out of funds and is now operating on cash reserves earmarked for capital expenditure. Additionally, R165 million in revenue was lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic and now it needs R30m to remain afloat.
ICC chief executive Lindiwe Rakharebe disclosed the information during a virtual sitting of the eThekwini Municipality’s Executive Committee (Exco). She said the country’s move to level 4 of the lockdown would further harm the operations of the entity as no physical major events were allowed during this period. Rakharebe said they expected to financially recover later this year if things returned to normal.
Rakharebe said that while there were challenges, no jobs had been lost as a result of the pandemic, and the entity had also received a clean audit – an indication that staff were doing a good job. She said they were in talks with Discovery Health, which had requested to use the ICC venue for six months as a Covid-19 vaccination centre.
Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda commended the ICC for being able to protect people’s jobs and committed the city to assisting the centre. The Exco authorised the city’s proposal to grant R15m in funding to the entity from the 2021/22 budget; an additional R10m would be considered during the 2021/22 midterm, which would depend on whether any savings could be directed to the entity.
It was also agreed that R5m would be provided from the municipality’s payment which was received from Effingham Development JV. Narendh Ganesh, Duffs Road Civic Association chairperson, said the ICC at one stage was an economic success and together with uShaka Marine World achieved international recognition. He mentioned the ICC administration needs to embark on austerity measures to trim all the fat so that it becomes lean and efficient. The pandemic merely reduced income in the last 15 months and there has been very little capital expenditure on the enterprise.