Home News R40 million thrown down the drain – opposition

R40 million thrown down the drain – opposition

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No house sittings had been held inside the precinct since staff had relocated back to the building at the beginning of the year.

Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

OPPOSITION parties have condemned the millions of rand that were “recklessly spent” on the “accident that is waiting to happen” at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.

Cope premier candidate Pakes Dikgetsi stated that no house sittings had been held inside the precinct since staff had relocated back to the building at the beginning of the year.

“The meetings have been taking place at the council chambers of the Frances Baard District Municipality. In the members wing the toilets are not functioning and the extremely poor workmanship is exposing members of the provincial legislature (MPLs) and visitors to danger,” said Dikgetsi.

He advised the Speaker and the ANC caucus to take full responsibility for the “impending disaster”.

“They have been protecting management and are being soft on consequence management and now the legislature has thrown almost R40 million down the drain.”

DA provincial leader Andrew Louw indicated that there was a “virtual evacuation” of the premises yesterday after the secretary to the Legislature, Patrick Moopelwa, admitted to staff members who had gathered outside the building that the legislature was a “ticking time bomb”.

“Management has been withholding critical information on the real state of the facility. This is believed to relate to very real dangers, including shifting foundations and the risk of an explosion due to the unaddressed matter of water leakage on electricity cables,” said Louw.

He criticised the exorbitant expenditure on the upgrades, where it appeared as if only superficial painting and tiling work had been done over the past two years.

“No structural repairs were ever done. This is while people’s lives are at risk and all attempts were made to muzzle the occupational health and safety report that revealed monstrous flaws.

“What frustrates us even more, is that we have been lied to about this building from the word go. The dangers were always downplayed. Deadlines were never met, because it was never intended that they would be met. Budgets were also never transparent.”

Louw called for an independent investigation to be launched into the contracts awarded and the entire expenditure to date on the precinct project

“No one should return to this building before the necessary clearance certificates are obtained from all stakeholders.”