The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga is concerned with the slow pace and increasing costs in the construction of a parliamentary village in Woodhouse, Matafin near Mbombela.
The parliamentary village meant to accommodate members of the provincial legislature began construction in November 2017 and it had an estimated completion date of April 2020.
The parliamentary village is situated a few kilometres outside Mbombela in land bought from the Matafin Trust. It is 50 hectares of land with 31 housing units to accommodate all the members of the provincial legislature. The land in question was bought for R30 million from the Matafin Trust. However, since the construction began four years ago, it has experienced delays. Up to date the perimeter fence work and the construction of the bulk service have not been completed.
According to Mpumalanga DA leader, Jane Sithole, the costs of the project has also increased. The village is meant to curb government accommodation expenses.
“If you look at the costs it started at R300 million, it’s now on R550 million, and the work is not done. If you look at bulk services in terms of water is not completed and the fence around the parliamentary village is not completed. One wonders why are the costs escalating while the work is not being completed and this is the question that every resident need to ask because this is taxpayers money,” says Sithole.
The Department of Public Works has cited numerous factors that include issues with the Matafin Trust, work-related disputes, community unrest, as well contributed to the delays.