The community of Lesseyton in the Eastern Cape wants law enforcement agencies to investigate the deals behind the now infamous sports field. Residents have questioned the R15 million project unveiled by the Enoch Mgijima Municipality, and say the facility is not ready for use.
They say the almost empty field with temporary spectator stands, is nothing close to the pictures released by the municipality and the 3D drawing that was presented to them.
The community is adamant that what they were shown before the project commenced is nowhere near what has been delivered. At the heart of their complaints is the allegation that the municipality never even consulted them when the scope of work was reduced.
They say the information at their disposal suggests that the sports field was to be built for R22 million.
Chairperson of Lesseyton Development Committee, Thembile Waxa, says they are being taken for a ride.
“The grandstands were supposed to be 400 sitting grandstands, there was supposed to be paved, there was supposed to be electric fencing, and even the poles were supposed to be cemented all around the palisade fencing so that it can be strong. There was supposed to be a running track with rubber not grass and the grass quality was not supposed to be like that.”
Community members raise their concerns about the sports field:
Contractors claim industry players were not included in construction
Contractors based in the district accuse the municipality of not including industry players in the construction of the controversial stadium. The Chairperson of the Enoch Mgijima Contractor’s Forum, Cebisa Sixaba, says the municipality did not adhere to procedures.
“I can confirm that we were left behind because procedurally, whenever there’s a construction or a project – the municipality is supposed to call a forum and inform them about the project. After that, the forum must go and inform their constituency, and secondly, what we don’t like as a forum is when the municipality is undermining the forum because these are the signs of the municipality undermining the forum if they don’t consider or acknowledge the forum.”
Municipality insists processes were followed
The Enoch Mgijima Municipality says everything is above board and the only thing that was reduced was the scope of work. Municipal Manager, Nokuthula Zondani, says the evidence of the work done is available.
“Fortunately some of the people around the area saw when blasting was done, all that preparatory work prior to us having the sports field that we’re having, that information is readily available in terms of the videos and in terms of the pictures and also the invoices that accompany the work that has been done, that is what people cannot see because lots of work has been done underneath but we do have videos that show the work that had been done to that effect.”
The municipality has declined to make invoices for the project public at this point, saying they will do so at a suitable time.
The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality has been placed under administration twice since 2018.