by Kingsol Chabalala MPL - DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is concerned that the Boipatong Monument and Youth Centre in Vanderbijlpark is still not fully operational despite being completed in November 2015.
The Boipatong Monument and Youth Centre was initiated in 2011 and was supposed to be completed in 2012 but it was only completed in November 2015.
The three-year delay in the completion of this project has had a financial impact as the initial budget of R32 572 833,00 accrued to R35 199 212,52.
This facility is plagued by numerous problems which includes the following: structural defects as a result of poor workmanship; sewer blockages; broken windows and air-conditioners not functioning.
The contractor has seized 45 computers from this facility because they have not yet been paid for the service rendered. The cleaners have not been paid their salaries for nine months.
Even though this facility is not fully operational the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation continues to transfer the operational grant to the Sedibeng District Municipality. In the 2018/19 financial year R2,3 million was transferred to the municipality for the purpose of ensuring that this facility is operational.
In the 2019/20 financial year the department transferred R2,5 million for the operational costs of this facility.
This raises questions about the funds allocated to the Boipatong Monument and Youth Centre and how the money is being spent.
It is a disgrace and an insult to the victims of the Boipatong massacre, their families, and the entire community of Boipatong.
This monument was erected to remember the Boipatong massacre, and we cannot pay proper tribute to their sacrifice while the centre is not fully operational.
The DA calls on the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR), Mbali Hlophe to intervene as a matter of urgency to ensure that this centre is fully operational. The MEC should ascertain how the Sedibeng District Municipality has been using the funds allocated since the centre is not fully operational and why the service provider and cleaners have not been paid.