According to Pretoria Rekord the Gauteng Provincial government recently revealed it will cost a whopping R84-million to demolish the remaining concrete stands of the HM Pitje stadium in Mamelodi, Pretoria.
Whilst the Democratic alliance (DA) is in accordance with the demolition it however disagrees with the government’s estimated costs.
“It is exorbitant and a waste of the department’s budget based on the current state of the stadium,” said DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation Kingsol Chabalala.
His comments came after the DA held an oversight inspection at the stadium.
While initial estimated costs of the demolition were around R69-million, Pretoria Rekord reported the budget estimate submitted by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) as R84 961 596.71.
The budget includes the contract administration, inspection, demolition of the stadium, site clearing and fencing of the site.
Chabalala accused Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC Mbali Hlophe of wasting millions of rands.
He slammed the estimated costs to demolish the concrete stands and remove the rubble as extremely high citing the demolishing cannot cost that much.
“The money that will be used to demolish the stadium will be taken from the department’s other programmes,” Chabalala added.
The money can be used to build a sporting club for kids
Chabalala says this money could instead be used to rebuild the state-of-the-art stadium and ensure that children and the sporting clubs in Mamelodi and surrounding areas have access to a sporting facility.
Only the concrete stands were left to be demolished as the stadium infrastructure has been stripped bare and the steel bleachers dismantled.
In addition, R400 000 was taken from Programme Three which caters for libraries and archival services and shifted from the department’s adjusted budget for the 2021/22 financial year for the stadium’s demolition.
“This means that children will continue to suffer without the necessary reading materials,” he added.
“The DA has been calling on the department to reprioritise its budget to ensure that the money is allocated to render services for the benefit of residents instead.”
Chabalala says the department has not yet budgeted for the reconstruction of the stadium.
“Yet, they are aware that the communities are in dire need of proper sporting facilities such as this stadium, which would nurture and develop young sporting talent from a grassroots level.”
DA challenges Hlophe to conduct inspection
The DA challenged Hlophe to conduct an oversight inspection at the stadium to ascertain what is left to be demolished.
“We will not fold our hands and allow the department’s coffers to be used on a project where there is no value for money.”
He concluded that the DA would continue to pressure Hlophe to ensure that a proper assessment of the stadium was conducted for the demolition process to save money for the reconstruction of the stadium.
Nomazwe Ntlokwana, a spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, said they are aware of DA’s claims.
“We advise that the query with regards to the costs be directed to the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) who are the implementing agency and should be able to provide the necessary information,” said Ntlokwana.
Edited by Kgomotso Phooko
This article first appeared on Caxton publication Pretoria Rekord, by Stephen Selaluke. Read the original article here.