Note to Editors: You can download a sound clip in English and Afrikaans from Dr Vicky Knoetze MPL.
The Democratic Alliance has launched an investigation into the Buffalo City Water Park after revelations that the project is already millions over budget and millions more are needed to complete the project.
A recent DA oversight at the facility has raised serious questions about whether the residents of Buffalo City are getting value for money from the initiative. This is in stark contrast to COGTA MEC Zolile Williams’ assurances in a parliamentary response to questions from the DA that the project is 95% complete.
MEC Williams revealed that the budget for the project, which was initiated in 2020 and was supposed to be completed within 18 months, was R89,7 million. However, this has already ballooned to over R100 million, and an additional R12,6 million is needed to finalise the project.
Last week, however, Buffalo City approved a further R23 million in its adjustment budget to complete the project, which is R10 million more than reported by MEC Williams, bringing the total cost for the Water Park to a staggering R123 million.
Based on the oversight, it is no surprise that neither MEC Williams nor the Buffalo City municipality wants to avail the payment schedule for the project.
Walking around the facility, it is extremely difficult to find over R100 million worth of value amongst the silted-up pools, incomplete and weed-infested paving, and exposed pipework.
While it is understandable that the Covid-19 lockdown impacted timeframes, there have been no lockdowns for a year and a half.
We will be filing a Promotion of Access to Information Application (PAIA) to request all pertinent documentation relating to the project, including the payment schedule, be made available.
The DA will not let the ANC-led government of BCM spend public money without any accountability or oversight. Our people deserve well-maintained, developed open spaces that enrich their lives, not white elephants that drain much-needed funds from state coffers with no value added.
The DA will continue to fight against the abuse of public funds and do everything in our power to hold those responsible to account.