No sparkle at Kimberley skate park

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader

Two years since the inception of Kimberley’s international skateboarding championship, the event grounds are still decorated by little more than red sand and scrub. This is despite the tourism department this year having budgeted specifically towards landscaping the area.

A site visit to the skateboarding grounds today highlighted the fact that little has been done to transform the glum looking skate park into a global attraction.

About nineteen “new” lollipop trees, and a patch of green grass mixed with lots of weeds, now adorn the entrance to the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre, which forms the access way to the skate grounds.  The skate park itself remains a barren sandpit.

It is troubling that this is how the provincial government chooses to showcase Kimberley.  International tourists are expected to visit the city over the weekend, and the event is set to be televised globally. Is this really how we want to portray the diamond city to tourists?

Surely our provincial government could have done more to transform the stark grounds into a more appealing and welcoming environment.

The Democratic Alliance wants to know exactly how the money allocated towards landscaping the skate park was spent. We will submit a parliamentary question to MEC John Block, asking for a detailed breakdown of the related expenditure. We also want to know who secured the greening contract.

The event grounds should sparkle with Northern Cape pride but yet they don’t. The government owes it to the unemployed people of this province to explain why, despite massive expenditure on this event, they are still failing to optimally market the province through this skateboarding initiative. And, in turn, why they are failing to attract investment that can effectively grow the economy and ultimately lead to job creation.