By Dr Isak Fritz MPL DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Social Development:
The DA has today written to the Northern Cape standing committee on public accounts to investigate the massive projected cost overrun of the Northern Cape Substance Abuse Centre project.
In reply to a DA parliamentary question, to the National Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, revealed that the projected cost for the facility will be R84,5 million. This is more than double the budgeted amount for the facility, which in total stands at R40 million over a two year period.
At the same time, the cost for the facility is much more than for similar substance abuse centers being constructed in the North West and the Eastern Cape, which are set to cost only R30,5 million and R48,7 million respectively.
The department has also already spent almost R2 million on this project while its plans remain unfinished.
Many questions must be answered including why the department has prematurely spent funds on the development and also, very importantly, why this Northern Cape project is facing such massively inflated costs.
Clearly the public purse is not in good hands – the sooner the ANC starts respecting taxpayers money, the sooner projects will be completed.
The Premier, as the leader of this province, must intervene before we see a repeat of the pricey mental health hospital saga, that has so far cost the taxpayer R2 billion and counting.