Roy Jankielsohn MPL
Member of the Provincial Legislature
The costs of building a new legislature complex at Ramkraal prison are escalating, while 48% of households in the Free State live off of R800 or less per month. The original estimate of about R650 million for the new building has now escalated to more than R694 million and it is now estimated that it will eventually cost R993 million. Free Staters will probably pay more than a billion rand for the building if it is ever completed. Over the past few years the 4th Raadsaal has been renovated at a cost of R40 million. What the legislature in fact requires is its own office space and not a new legislature building.
Demolition of houses and other buildings are underway, which together with a fence, will cost R6 million. MEC for Public Works, Ms E.S. Mabe indicated in a reply to a DA question in the legislature that this contract has been awarded to Messer: Sa Demolishers since no other tenders were received.
The legislature will not be able to afford the eventual costs of this project while R30 million is budgeted for this venture every year. It is becoming increasingly clear that neither the need, nor the money, will be forthcoming for the eventual completion of this project. While our provincial roads are in a crisis, our healthcare is financially squeezed, and our people are getting poorer; it is simply no longer viable to continue with a project of this nature and magnitude.
It is time that the provincial government and the legislature prioritizes the needs of our province and our people first, instead of the need to leave behind a legacy of a billion rand building.