Residents still waiting for library to reopen

PROJECT DELAY: The Ashley Wyngaardt library in Victoria Park has been awaiting completion since 2018    Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

Victoria Park residents are beginning to lose patience with the Ashley Wyngaard library renovation project which was originally supposed to reach completion in September 2018, having began in January. 

The massive R7.266,811 renovation and extension of the library, which is funded by the department of sports, recreation, arts and culture (Dsrac) was implemented by Mtha Constructions from East London.

However, the contractors left earlier this year before completing the project.

This has meant that Victoria Park, Popcorn Valley, Aloevale and NewVale residents have had to rely on the town and Mlungisi libraries to access resources.

An reliable source, who cannot be named for fear of putting their job in jeopardy, said
the project was supposed to take eight months to complete, but when the main contractor left uncompleted project they had no idea how long it would take to complete.

The source said during the renovation process furniture had also gone missing from the library.

“Some of the books which were placed container in sealed boxes were found scattered across the grounds, which led to some being damaged.”

“After the contractor left, the source said toilets were vandalised and were used before there was a water supply.

The poor workmanship,according to the source, included a courtyard which was not paved, a damaged drain cover, door vents which were not fitted, rubble, sand and stone not removed along a pile of planks, old furniture abandoned there.

The source also alleges that LDM Quantity Surveyors from Gqeberha mysteriously left the project.

However Dsrac spokesperson Andile Nduna said the project was meant to be finished by November 2019.

Nduna said:” The contractor surrendered the project due to cashflow problems and the
contract was terminated.The contractor had all the necessary skills required for the project.”

Nduna said Ogu Yonke from Komani was the newly appointed contractor and was well capacitated to complete the job.

About the quantity surveyors who left with speculation of not being paid by the department, he said: “The quantity surveyor left because its contract had ended and was not extended. The allegations are not true, all the invoices were paid.”

However he did no respond to the query on what the latest deadline was for the new contractor to complete the project.

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