Call for urgent forensic probe after EMLM hands over R15m sports field

The ANC provincial executive committee and the regional leadership in the Chris Hani district have called on the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality to do a forensic investigation following the handover of a ‘R15 million’ sports field in Lesseyton which received a great deal of flak on social media.

The municipality was publicly criticised for spending R15 million on a seemingly substandard facility.

“We wanted to come as an ANC leadership, take full responsibility to come and see the facility. We have instructed the municipality that we want a full report about the project on whether there was a value for money and whether procurement processes were followed. The ANC will not be hesitant to act on those who have committed any forms of wrong doing,” said elections provincial coordinator Mzonke Ndabeni during a site visit on Tuesday.

In a statement, Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa said the municipality regrets the manner in which the initial announcement on social media, of the handover which took place on Monday, was shared indicating that minimal details were provided. Kowa said the project scope entailed the erection of 780 metres palisade fencing and the construction of rugby and soccer field (site clearing, layering of grounds) as well as rock blasting.

“Rock blasting was undertaken as the area comprised mainly of hard rock which had to be removed to allow for construction. The project scope also entailed earth works – excavation and levelling of grounds, layer works G5 imported sub-base layer; 13 mm crushed stone which is 75 mm thick; top soil and transplanting of kikuyu grass, athletics track – grassed track – layers of crush stone, drainage system to ensure its viability, ablution facilities (2 blocks) – construction of 14 toilets and 8 showers, change rooms – showers and benches , Borehole drilling, equipping and water reticulation installation, Rain water catchment tank, high rise water main tank, sewer system with sceptic tank, electrical installation, guard house and steel grand stands,” he said.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha said they were expecting a full report from the local authority on the matter this week. “I fully understand the negative commentary and public comments on the matter. For that reason, we have requested the leadership of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality to get all the facts about the scope of work for the project and what has been delivered so far,” said Nqatha.

Read full story in The Rep on Friday.