Mpumalanga’s white elephants continue to guzzle state funds

By Bosman Grobler MPL, Spokesperson on Public Works, Roads and Transport:

Properties purchased for two of the provinces much anticipated capital projects have been standing bare without even a hint of development, despite having already consumed over R237 million.

If all had gone well, the Cultural Hub (CH), which was to be built in Mbombela municipality and the High Altitude Training centre (HATC), which was to be erected in Emakhazeni municipality would have stimulated Mpumalanga’s economy, created jobs and encouraged the development of local talent and entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, these projects have just become numbers on the long list of projects promised by Premier David Mabuza, that never materialise.

The DA visited these sites in 2013 and again this past week to establish if any progress had been made but all we found was vacant land.

Click here for pictures.

According to the department of Public Works, Roads and Transport’s annual report for 2014/15, a decision was taken to stall all the plans for the HATC and to reduce the scope and plans for the CH due to budgetary constraints.

This begs the question of what happened to the money that was allocated year after year for the construction of these projects because there is currently no visual evidence of either of these projects seeing the light of day anytime soon.

Instead of investing in projects that are so marred in controversy that they are unlikely to benefit the citizens of Mpumalanga in the near future, the DA calls on the provincial government to make use of the land in ways that would immediately address the province’s needs.

The DA would also like to see the land in Emakhazeni being used for RDP housing and a medical centre. We want the land in Mbombela to be used to build a medical training centre linked to the University of Mpumalanga to assist the province with the shortage of medical staff.

Enough time and money has been wasted on feeding the government’s white elephants. It is time to use the resources of this province to uplift its residents and to put an end to service delivery woes.