By Safiyia Stanfley, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Sport, Arts and Culture:
The Democratic Alliance has today written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Maruping Lekwene requesting him to urgently convene an oversight visit at the Northern Cape Theatre.
This follows the on-going delays regarding refurbishments and renovations to the theatre.
The committee must urgently conduct oversight at the site to get clarity on the project and the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) must explain how the millions of rands were spent on this project and why additional funding is required.
This project cannot be another catastrophe similar to the New Mental Hospital, which has been dragging for ten years now with costs escalating to over R2 billion.
It is inconceivable to think that a project of this scale just to make renovations to an existing structure can delay for so long with so much money being pumped into it.
It has been a long road since the department of Labour closed it down in 2008 citing occupational safety and hazard problems, with more than R20 million already been spent on renovations.
To date a total of R28 million has been spent on refurbishments and renovations at the theatre. It is shocking that yet again a further R6 million is needed to complete the project.
It is baffling that essential equipment such as sound and lighting has not been installed. What theatre functions without such necessities?
What happened to the R12 million that was supposed to cater for state of the art sound and lighting.
The department must now come clean and account for the work done at the theatre and how the money was spent.