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Municipality slammed over sports field

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The municipality has embarked on a multimillion-rand project for the Kharkams community, who are currently facing a water shortage

THE DA in the Northern Cape has labelled a grass sports field project by the Kamiesberg Municipality as a wasteful expenditure.

The party said in a statement that the municipality has embarked on a multimillion-rand project for the Kharkams community, who are currently facing a water shortage.

The party’s provincial constituency head of Kamiesberg, Veronica van Dyk, said that the municipality had disregarded the needs of the community.

Irresponsible

“Kharkams cannot even supply residents with drinking water, it seems highly irresponsible to initiate the planting of a grass sports field, which in itself is a largely water-centric project, even more so given the heatwaves that the Province is experiencing. To date, however, the borehole for the watering of the sports field has not been connected and neither has irrigation been laid. Residents have complained that the water trucks have emptied out four drains in an attempt to keep the field alive. Water tankers have also been transporting water from cattle posts and even residents’ private JoJo tanks to the already dried out grass field, which was planted on October 10, 2019,” said Van Dyk.

She added that the party also has concerns over the tender process and the management of the project.

“The project, which was advertised from the 7th until June 28, 2019, saw only two tender applications submitted by the closing date. Namakwaland Construction, which came in at R12 953 946, as opposed to LH Upington Construction that came in at R13 519 730, was awarded the contract. The successful contractor is further believed to already have received a pre-payment of R4 813 361 from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG). Another company has further been named as the contract manager for the six-month project, it is also questionable as to how the project is being managed and we will require further details on this.

“On top of this, we also want to find out who is paying for the ferrying of water to the sports field and what the municipality is doing to ensure that residents’ water needs get preference above the watering of the field.”

Van Dyk said they will raise the matter with the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Bentley Vass, as well as the National Assembly.

“Clearly there are people who are incompetent or who are seeking to exploit municipal funds to their own benefit, who are managing the affairs of the Kamiesberg Municipality. They must be held accountable for this wastage of the municipality’s scarce financial resources and scarce water supply,” said Van Dyk.

– Benida Phillips