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Today, 7 October 2021, I conducted an oversight inspection at the controversial Lesseyton Stadium in Komani (Queenstown) with Democratic Alliance Federal Council Chairperson, Helen Zille. This project has sparked a nationwide outcry which highlights the almost complete collapse of service delivery in ANC-led municipalities.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality has repeatedly called for a forensic audit into the price structuring and management of municipal infrastructure projects, which are unrealistically high, always experience delays and demonstrate substandard materials and workmanship.
The shabby and sub-standard sports stadium which municipal officials handed over to community members in Lesseyton on Monday, 4 October 2021, is an insult to the people who live there and has been rejected with the contempt it deserves. The so-called stadium is little more than scaffolding, the field is dry and the hard, and the rugby poles have collapsed. The changing-room facilities also have no running water and, therefore, cannot be used. (see pictures here, here, here and here)
This Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) project, which was initially tagged at R22,7 million, was then slashed to R15 million. The DA approached professionals in the building, steelworks and landscaping fields who weighed in on the cost of the existing structure.
According to them a very generous estimate of work done and existing structures, considering the substandard materials which were used, is R4,85 million. If blasting is included (the video evidence does not clearly indicate where the blasting took place as no pre-existing buildings surrounding the site are seen in the video) and an allowance for bad weather delays is built in, the absolute maximum this contract should have cost is between R6 and R6,5 million.
The DA will insist on a full forensic audit into this project and other municipal projects which have failed dismally. I will also write to the EC MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Xolile Nqatha, to establish what protocols are in place to criminally charge party officials, administrators and service providers who collude to milk municipal coffers dry for self- enrichment.
Where the DA governs, all municipal funds can be accounted for. Where we govern, we get things done.
Issued by Enoch Mgijima Constituency Leader, Jane Cowley, MPL