Community angered over incompletion of R20 million sports facility

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The Louisvale community near Upington has accused the Dawid Kruiper municipality of misusing funds meant for community development.

This after the construction of a sports facility in the area was halted.

They say the municipality has failed to explain what happened to the R20 million that was pumped into the project.

A wall and an empty space, that’s all there is to show for what was meant to be a multi-million rand stadium. It was supposed to have been completed a decade ago and now the community is up in arms.

Community member Willem Lucas: “Since 1996 there were a lot of people staying on that side but they said the people must vacate as they were going to build there. They started building, but only the groundwork and then after a while, nothing. After a year they started new groundwork, then nothing again and then the last time they put these grey walls here.”

Another community member John Marsh is angered by the situation.

“The guys can’t play on this. It’s unfair; somebody has got their finger in the pie, how many contracts were here? They start building and at the end of the day they just pick up their stuff and leave – guys from all over the country”

The municipality says the construction of the sports facility was terminated because the appointed contractors were unable to complete it.

It says not all the funds set aside for the project was utilised.

Elias Ntoba, Municipal Manager of the Dawid Kruiper Municipality says that this matter has been reported to the council numerous times.

“The project should have been finalised as you already said but the MEC’s office has asked us to stop the project for now. The money has been returned to  the MEC. As far as I’m concerned and we’ve been requested to submit new business plans of which we’ve done, so we’re waiting for approval of the new application then we’ll proceed with the work.”

The municipality says the sports facility will be completed in the next financial year.

But the community is not happy.

They say that substance abuse amongst the youth is on the rise because of a lack of recreational facilities.