The Presidency had paid R29 million towards the event, with the National Lotteries Board forking out R40 million.
“I want to remind the public that the NYDA is established in terms of the law and it is a public entity. As such, it gets audited like any other public organisation. As it is, the NYDA had a clean audit for the 2009/2010 financial year,” said Lungisa.
The 17th World Festival of Youth and Students is the largest international youth festival hosted by the NYDA and the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). The festival started on Monday, 13 December and will end next Tuesday.
Lungisa said there were more than 15 000 delegates participating, with representatives coming from more than 130 countries.
He took the media to task over the way it chose to report on the event, which has been dubbed as a ‘jamboree’ by some media houses.
“We are disappointed with the media who find it easy to ignore the issues that are being discussed in the seminars … There is more coverage about things that happen outside the seminar venues, even though sufficient progress is being made and resolutions are being taken on critical issues at the various seminars and conferences,” he said.
Lungisa addressed reports that there were problems with catering.
“We are doing our best to cater for all our delegates. However, in an event of this magnitude, you will find some people who will not like the food being provided but efforts are being made to address the concerns. We have also increased our serving points,” he said.
Some media reported that the event was organised by a company that was not on CIPRO’s database and that Lungisa had said the company was owned by the “National Provincial Council” of the ANC Youth League.
Lungisa said this “exposed the callousness, as well as carelessness prevalent in our reporting. Attributing this statement to myself is a downright lie.
Furthermore, he said no sessions had been cancelled because speakers were not available and none of the speakers cancelled their attendance.
“I challenge the media to attend and report on the session titled ‘The Manipulation of Media and Information.’ The President of WFDY, Tiago Vieira and I held a press conference, wherein we urged the media to start focusing on the issues raised at the festival. I hope we will begin to see that now,” said Lungisa. - BuaNews