Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) is considering leasing the vandalised Bonkolo Dam recreational facility to a private company.
This after concerns raised by residents of the facility’s dilapidated state. The Rep reported (Bonkolo dam facility to boost tourism, June 10 2016) that the department of tourism and the then Lukhanji Municipality had collaborated in renovating the site. Former deputy minister for tourism Thokozile Xasa and Lukhanji mayor Nozi Makanda officially launched the site in 2016 when Xasa indicated that the facility should help create a tourism route.
“We want you to grow this place, to make a name for this area. You must reflect your economic hub status through these and other projects. You must grow the local economy and communities must not solely rely on government handouts, but take part in bettering their lives,” she said.
Four years after the launch, the family recreational project is in a state of ruin. The Rep reporter recently visited the site and was greeted by tall, uncut grass and broken windows, doors, toilet seats and damaged electrical outlets and outdoor play areas for children after a Komani resident posted pictures of the vandalised building and some users shared their thoughts on the matter.
“Where is the law enforcement? I went to see the dam in December and it was a sad sight. Our beloved Komani is not what it used or needs to be. Yet we have elected officials who are being paid every month to look after the place,” said one concerned community member.
“Probably done on purpose for job creation. Think about it,” said another resident.
“Bad municipality, can not manage anything correctly,” one comment read.
EMLM spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa said: “The recent vandalism has come as a shock as the area is secured during the night, when vandals and thieves are most expected. A security guard is always on site at night. The decision to only have a security guard at night was taken in the light of the known financial situation of EMLM. The municipality is currently considering a number of options, one of which is leasing the facility to a private company. The process and the decision to be made will be above board and all stakeholders will be informed.”