The Arts and Culture Department says it will do everything possible to recover money lost in the planning of the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Museum project in Brandftort.

The department is taking the legal route against the Independent Development Trust (IDT) which has been accused of failing to meet set requirements.

The iconic House 802 in Majwemasweu township in Brandfort was declared a national heritage site in 2005.

This is where Struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was banished by the Apartheid regime in 1977.

Madikizela-Mandela lived here with her youngest daughter, Zindzi, for eight years.

However, the department’s Deputy Director-General, Vusithemba Ndima, says they have injected almost R3 million in the project.

“We tried to do the work here when we were working with IDT. Out of the money that we have given to IDT, what they claim to have done is to spend four hundred and ninety something on professional services concept design and all those kinds of things. But of course, matters between ourselves and IDT are still being discussed. These matters are being dealt with in courts. So, I cannot divulge most of the things that are happening there. All that I can tell you is that as the department, we are not happy with the kind of work that was done hence we had to stop our working relationship with IDT.”

New contractors have been appointed to restore the house at a cost of almost R3 million.

The community say the revamping is long overdue. “We are not happy about them coming here hanging plans and then at the end of the day, there’s no progress,” says one community member.

The latest promise is that this house will be restored and ready to tell its history to young South Africans by November.