DA calls for Public Protector investigation into abandoned R50 million civic centre

By Richard Shivambu, DA councillor at Greater Giyani Municipality:

I will today write to the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, requesting that her office institute an investigation into the Giyani Municipality for abandoning the incomplete municipal civic centre that is estimated to so far have cost taxpayers R50 million.

In the 2013/2014 financial year, the municipality allocated a staggering R40 million for the extension of the municipal civic centre but the contractor vanished without completing the project. No measures were taken by the municipality to trace and force the contractor to complete the project.

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In the 2014 to 2016 medium term revenue and expenditure approved by council in March 2014, a further R16 million was allocated to complete the project without seeking a comprehensive report regarding the delay to complete the project.

It is alleged that the prices were inflated and the remaining tasks to complete the project will not nearly cost that much.

Despite the extra R16 million that was allocated to complete the centre, the project has been abandoned for more than 8 months now and there are no signs that it will be completed.

It is absolutely unacceptable that the municipality can build a multimillion rand building that have no use and fails to complete it on time. It is also clear that their viability was not properly tested before being put out to tender.

The DA is also concerned about the failure of the municipality to appoint a permanent Municipal Manager and suggests that it refrains from appointing officials in an acting capacity as it hampers the basic services in the municipality.

The current Chief Financial Officer, Hitler Maluleke is alleged to be receiving a double salary for being the CFO as well as Acting as Municipal Manager of the Municipality.

The DA already requested the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Makoma Makhurupetje, to investigate the matter and to oversee the swift appointment of a permanent Municipal Manager as a matter of urgency.

The people of Giyani can no longer continue to suffer while individuals enrich themselves with the municipal coffers instead to accelerating services.

The DA will urge the Public Protector to start probing this incomplete project and the inflating of the prices and further establish the reasons why the project is being delayed.