By Paul Willemburg MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC: Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
During an oversight visit to the HM Pitje stadium in Mamelodi today it was discovered that the facility has not been used since at least 2005 and that it would cost at least R640 million to make it operative.
This is despite the fact that R136 million was received from the Provincial Department of Sport for stadium upgrades in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Further, the stadium remains non-compliant with safety and construction regulations and as such no occupational certificates have been issued.
Emergency and seating requirements are also not up to basic standards; in fact the angle of the seating is dangerous and pitch visibility is completely obsolete in certain sections of the stands.
However, the City of Tshwane is still paying salaries for general workers, security guards and grass-cutting despite the fact that no maintenance has been done to the structure to date.
The people of Mamelodi have clearly not benefitted from the construction of this stadium which has become a white elephant in a community which desperately needs upliftment.
I will be writing to the Gauteng MEC of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Molebatsi Bopape, to establish what plan this department has to ensure that the stadium becomes fully compliant and operational.
The MEC must also explain how the previously allocated monies have been spent and what structures were put in place to monitor this spending.