WHAT a complete waste of taxpayer’s money!
HM Pitje Stadium in Mamelodi and Odi Stadium in Mabopane will remain white elephants – you better deal with it!
Now, politicians are pointing fingers at each other as millions of rands are thrown into a deep pit toilet.
Both township communities would need billions of rands to get the two Tshwane stadiums fully operational.
At the end of the day, Sports Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, is held accountable for all the mess – with fingers pointing directly at his office.
It must explain what happened to the funds that were allocated for the refurbishment of the stadiums.
Tsepo Mhlongo, a member of the national parliamentary portfolio committee, said they will haul the minister to Cape Town to give answers.
Committee members, led by chairwoman, Beauty Dlulane, spent last Friday in Tshwane on site visits to the two historic stadiums.
To say they were left appalled by what they saw, is an understatement.
Much as Odi Stadium is dilapidated, it’s better than HM Pitje, which has been turned into a pigsty and a hideout for nyaope boys.
The venue had been earmarked as a training venue for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Africa’s first spectacle.
Much as Tshwane’s member of the mayoral committee (MMC) responsible for sport, arts and culture, Thabisile Vilakazi, saw the committee’s visit as a waste of taxpayer’s money, parliamentarians say they have seen enough and someone needs to be held accountable.
A somewhat disappointed Vilakazi believes the visit to Tshwane was just a waste of the taxpayer’s money.
“They came from Cape Town without a document guiding them. What are they here for? They came here, watched the facilities and then went back to Parliament,” she said.
“They came here empty-handed. To make matters worse, the day before they came over, out of courtesy, I took it upon myself and requested my team to forward them a report about the two stadiums. That would have made things easier for them when they came to the city.
“Surprisingly, the report wasn’t read by any of them, including their chairperson. Secondly, they didn’t even print the report to serve as a guide. I spoke to the MEC (Mbali Hlophe) about HM Pitje to ask what do we do about it.
“It was a concern that it was dumped at the city without any financial grants. It would have helped if it were handed over to us with a grant. We didn’t benefit anything. Instead, it became a liability to us.
“Now, committee members came under misguided information that maybe we were allocated funds and that we diverted to other projects.
“I asked them, why Odi Stadium doesn’t have funding? And they reckon it could have been allocated and it was used somewhere. As the city, we have made a commitment that no funds will be diverted to a project that it is not allocated to.”
Vilakazi said there have been recommendations from the communities of Mamelodi and Mabopane: demolish the stadiums and rebuild them from scratch, renovate them “but the projected costs will be too high as the stadiums are dilapidated”.
“Firstly, we wanted to hear what is that the community wanted,” she added.
“We are talking to the province and national to seek help. It’s not like we wanted Odi, but because of the demarcation it then fell in our hands.
“HM Pitje was a project of the World Cup 2010. It was built by the province because they wanted to come on board. And they came to mess up the stadium. When you’re seated on the one side you cannot see on the other side.
“The committee said it would convene a meeting between national, province and ourselves. I asked why did they jump the province in the first place when they came straight to the municipality. I only heard about the visit on Thursday. I had to abandon all my plans to accommodate them, but they came with nothing to benefit the communities.”
As much as he agrees with Vilakazi about messed up planning of the visit to Tshwane, Mhlongo maintains there has been wasteful expenditure since 2010.
He said for Odi they’ve heard about demarcations and safety issues and they will demolish it and wasted taxpayer’s money on HM Pitje.
“There was no occupation certificate at HM Pitje during the 2010 event and since then until today it hasn’t been utilised,” said Mhlongo.
“The Minister, MEC and MMC must account. An occupation certificate is important.Now both stadiums are dilapidated and need to be demolished. R10 million was wasted at HM Pitje, no maintenance and there’s no security. Thuggery is a daily occurrence, we even saw clothes. Community members want the two stadiums demolished and a new project started.”
He said the minister needs to give answers for neglecting all the facilities, especially Odi, which was built by the old apartheid governments.
“I’llwrite formal questions because I have a lot of unanswered question,” said Mhlongo.