Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Leader and the DA Gauteng Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs Spokesperson, Solly Msimanga MPL, along with the DA Mogale City Caucus Leadership and Councillors conducted oversight inspections at the incomplete Krugersdorp taxi rank and failed Brickvale housing project. Following this, the DA went to the Municipal office to meet with the Mayor and the Municipal Manager, but they were nowhere to be found.
This clearly indicates an intention on their part to not be transparent about what exactly happened with regards to the R9 million that was mysteriously taken out of Mogale City’s coffers.
We proceeded to the Krugersdrop taxi rank and discovered that the taxi rank is still incomplete and there is nothing to show for the millions of rand spent so far.
The construction of the taxi rank began in April 2018 and was scheduled to be completed in March 2019, however, to date it is still incomplete.
The initial budget for the taxi rank was R49.7 million, but the budget was later increased to R92.3 million for the upgrading of the infrastructure, while an additional R13.5 million was provided for professional fees. This has resulted in a total of R105.8 million spent on a project that is only 60% complete.
The local businesses have lost out on much-needed economic activity by waiting for the new taxi rank to be completed. The commuters and taxi operators are using the old dilapidated and overcrowded taxi rank that is unsafe and poses a serious health risk.
The incomplete, failed Brickvale housing project was meant to build 6840 houses. The contractor has only built the top structures which are still incomplete, and lack the needed bulk infrastructure.
Furthermore, the land where these houses are built is rich in dolomite, while the top structures were built without a geotechnical assessment conducted. This has resulted in R900 million for this project going down the drain. The contractor has also abandoned the project due to non-payment.
In addition, this particular land was evaluated to the value of R3 million but was subsequently bought for an inflated price of R63 million by the municipality. This raises questions of the municipality’s motive for such a fruitless and wasteful purchase.
We also discovered these two failing projects were awarded to the same contractor which raises questions why this contractor continues to be awarded tenders by the municipality while is failing to complete projects within the stipulated timelines and within the allocated budget.
The DA will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain what exactly happened to the missing R9 million, what are the reasons behind the delays in the completion of the Krugersdorp taxi rank and the Brickvale housing project as well as what happened to the money allocated for these projects.