No sporting, arts, heritage and library facilities in Gauteng will receive any maintenance or upgrades during the 2017/18 financial year. This is according to the Budget Estimates for Capital Expenditure by provincial Treasury.
Not only were there no sporting facilities for rugby, cricket and swimming built over the past three years in previously disadvantaged communities, but existing infrastructure was also not maintained.
It is alarming that despite the deterioration of the province’s recreational facilities, no budget was made available to maintain or upgrade crumbling infrastructure.
The MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Faith Mazibuko, must explain this bizarre removal of the budget for maintenance.
These facilities play a vital role in society in ensuring that young people in poor communities are not left alone to be influenced by drugs and crime. The promise of soccer fields, astro turfs and many others have fallen flat.
It seems as if MEC Mazibuko is now sitting on her hands in trying not to lobby provincial Treasury for more funds to be allocated to the maintenance, upgrade or repairs needed at many facilities across the province.
If millions can be spent by the department on lavish sporting awards, why can we not get the basics right first?
It is disingenuous that the department would not focus on the maintenance, repairs and the building of more facilities for the poor.
The DA will hold MEC Mazibuko accountable as she is set to debate the departmental budget during the budget vote speeches later next month in the legislature.
Kingsol Chabalala MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage
060 558 8299
076 721 8613