Ten years and R24 million later, still no swimming pool for Butterworth

Issued by Nomvano Zibonda, MPL
Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Art and Culture

Ten years have passed and more than R24 million spent on upgrading the Butterworth Swimming pool that has, to date, still not opened its doors to the public.

The swimming pool has become a bottomless money pit, with the costs for the upgrade more than doubling from the initial R10,1 million initially quoted.

This is just one more mismanaged project in a province that is drowning in maladministration and corruption.

This was revealed in response to a parliamentary question by the MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Fezeka Bayeni.

SEE: IQP 17 Q396

The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) initially appointed Mlonyeni Construction to do the work in October 2010, at R10,160,960.00 including contingencies.

After receiving numerous warnings regarding the poor performance of the contractors, the Department terminated the contract.

However, MEC Bayeni has now confirmed that a total of R8,482,958.08 was paid out to Mlonyeni Construction for work done, and a further R3,261,161.58 was paid in management and consultancy fees.

This amounts to over R11,7 million rand paid for sub-standard work, with nothing to show for it!

The Department then appointed a new contractor, six years after the initial work began.

M/S Delevex 302cc was appointed in September 2016 at a further cost of R10,908,498.18 and an additional R2,067,879.86 in management and consulting fees.

A further R1,7 million has been budgeted on a borehole to supply water to the pool, of which R162 676.90 has already been spent on investigation, testing and drilling.

Most notably is that four years after the appointment of M/S Delevex, the upgrades at the Butterworth Swimming Pool are still not finished, with the contractor reportedly now busy fixing cracks in the changing rooms.

While the pool remains closed, it has become a target for vandalism and theft.

The project, which is fully funded by DSRAC, is being managed by the Coega Development Corporation. It is a shocking indictment on this public owned entity that it has not been able to manage a simple upgrade of a public swimming pool.

To date, this failed project has cost DSRAC, which has limited budget and a crucial mandate to serve our communities, over R24,8 million!

I will be submitting follow up questions to MEC Bayeni, to determine what action has been taken against those responsible for the cost overruns, as well as what steps have been taken to recover funds from the initial contractor.

The sad truth is that this ANC government does not care about getting value for money, or even delivering on projects that are meant to improve the lives of the people they are meant to serve.

The DA will continue to fight to ensure that public funds are spent correctly, and calls on the provincial government to take off the gloves and take legal action against underperforming contractors, to get the province’s money back.