State & plans for ODI and HM Pitje Stadiums: stakeholder engagement

Sports, Arts and Culture

22 June 2021
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture, 22 June 2021

The Committee met virtually for a briefing by the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the Gauteng Department of Sport, the City of Tshwane management and community leaders on the state and plans for the ODI and HM Pitje Stadiums.

 The Committee heard that during the redevelopment phase, community consultation meetings had taken place on 4 October and 8 November 2018, and it had been agreed that a 30 000-seater, 15 000-standing square stadium with multipurpose sports facilities was desirable, with an estimated cost based on Premier Soccer League (PSL) standards of R1,365 billion.  

Members raised their concerns on the lack of engagement by the Department with the community. A major issue was that little had been done about consequence management, and no one had been held accountable for the mismanagement of public funds. Since 2016, various peaceful campaigns, marches, and cleanups had been held around Mamelodi township, and these had been to demonstrate to the Gauteng Provincial Government the importance of having a stadium operating at full functioning capacity. The media had publicised all these positive initiatives. The community of Tshwane felt that the Department was not concerned about their concerns, and they only assisted when they were seeking votes.

The Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation told the Committee that they were doing their best to handle the community's grievances, but it was difficult because they had inherited some of the issues from the previous administration. One major point raised by community members was that they had engaged some funders to assist them with projects because the Department was not showing any interest.

In 2017, the Department of Infrastructure Development had proposed a new plan for the stadium after demolition had taken place. The “new look” HM Pitje Stadium was to follow the likes of the smaller Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton, but this was seen as disrespect by the Bring Back HM Pitje (#BBHMP movement), as it did not represent the true legacy of what HM Pitje represented. The proposal had been rejected by the movement after consultation with the community.

A request had been made to the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development to consider a new plan that would factor in all the requests made by the community of Mamelodi, such as increasing the seating capacity, and ensuring it met South African Football Association (SAFA) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) standards. In 2018, new plans had been presented at a meeting that was held in Mamelodi, and these had been accepted by the community with only a few changes.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting, and stressed the importance of keeping safe since the country was going through the third wave of Covid-19 and it had been a difficult period for everyone. She asked for the presentations from the different stakeholders who were taking part in the meeting.

Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, Director-General (DG), Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), thanked the Committee for inviting them to the meeting, and notified them of members of the Department who were not able to attend the meeting.

Ms Mbali Hlophe, Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, also thanked the Committee for having them at the meeting and introduced her team to the Committee.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked if there had been an apology from the Minister, and wanted to know his reasons for not being present in the meeting.

The Committee secretary said no apology had been received from the Minister, but Mr Mkhize said the Minister was still in another meeting, and once it was concluded he would join the meeting.

Update on HM PITJE and ODI stadia

Ms Priscilla Masisi, Head of Department (HOD), Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (GDSACR), presented the combined presentation to the Committee.

HM Pitje Stadium

HM Pitje was one of the facilities earmarked as a training venue for teams participating in the 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament. This had necessitated a need for an upgrade, and the leading implementer was the Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works. As an implementer, the Department was responsible for the procurement of consultants, the professional team and the contractor. The stadium was located at Kubone Drive in Mamelodi township, east of Pretoria. The HM Pitje stadium upgrade design had a number of shortcomings, and consequently did not comply with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) standards. As such, it had been abandoned and had subsequently deteriorated or become dilapidated.

In June 2019, the Gauteng DSAC had submitted a business case to the Provincial Treasury for the funding of the demolition works. The proposed demolition cost was estimated at R69 751 997. The business case was approved, and R22 million was allocated for 2019/2020 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF), of which R499 751 had been paid for the assessment report. The Department had appointed Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) as an implementing agent to demolish the stadium.

In the inception stage, the GDID, the GDSACR and the City of Tshwane Region 6 representatives had carried out a technical inspection on 20 April 2021. This was a visual and works inspection. During the inspection, it was noted that the community had dismantled some of the existing features and the status of the stadium had deteriorated. The inspection findings concluded that the stadium had badly deteriorated, and was thus unsafe for the community in the vicinity. The findings had included: 

  • the site was covered with grass;
  • some of the steel bleachers had been dismantled;
  • the embedded steel reinforcement on the concrete stands had corroded;
  • the steel bleachers had corroded;
  • the concrete structure was partly demolished;
  • the stripping of structural steel by the community (collapse and OHS risk);
  • vagabonds occupying place (health and safety risk); and
  • the collapse of the structure may cause injuries & fatalities.

A budget estimate had been submitted by the GDID for the demolition works and was estimated at R87 million. The total cost would be finalised upon appointment of a contractor who would cost the project and propose a methodology for the demolition of the stadium. The Department was in the process of appointing professional service providers (PSPs) who would be responsible for monitoring of the demolition phase. The PSPs would include a project manager, structural engineer, occupational health and safety specialist, environmental specialist and quantity surveyor. The demolition plans and permit had been approved.

During the redevelopment phase, community consultation meetings had taken place on 4 October 2018 and 8 November 2018. It was agreed that a 30 000-seater, 15 000-standing square stadium with multipurpose sports facilities was desirable. The 30 000-seater Professional Soccer League (PSL) standard stadium was estimated to cost between R36 000 and R55 000 per seat, therefore the overall cost at an average cost per seat of R45 500 would be R1.365 billion (R45 000 x 30 000).

ODI Stadium

Ms Thabisile Vilakazi, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC), Community & Social Development Services, Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, briefed the Committee about the ODI Stadium and were given the background to the demolition of the existing multi-purpose sport and recreation stadium. The construction of a new multi-purpose sport facility would comply with OHS Act standards and requirements, as set for facilities used for public gathering and recreation. There was a need for the new facility to accommodate various sporting codes.

The stadium consisted of an un-covered grandstand, four secondary rectangular and two small triangular stands, and 20 floating stands, giving the stadium a seating capacity of approximately 50 000 seats. It included a main soccer field, tartan athletics track, tartan field events, two change rooms, four sets of male/female ablutions, four kiosks, a VIP lounge and seating, security room, referees’ room, press room, control room, admin offices, generator room, stores, several indoor sporting areas, four high mast lights and four ticketing offices. Other facilities outside the stadium included combi-courts for tennis, basketball, volleyball and two informal soccer training grounds.

The stadium had been transferred to Gauteng Province at the beginning of 2008, and was later transferred to the City of Tshwane. The latter had to accept an asset which was an immediate liability.  The layout of the facility was not compliant with FIFA specifications and could therefore not be used for matches. There were specific design shortfalls and a lack of maintenance over several years. The option to demolish the stadium was based on the assessment of the structural integrity of the stadium and the inter-dependence on surrounding areas for development to complement the existence of the stadium.

It was recommended that a public participation process be undertaken regarding the main stadium. Consequently, a public participation meeting took place on 7 September 2013.

The three options were explained in detail at the meeting. These were:

  • Demolition of the stadium and rebuilding
  • Retention of the stadium and upgrading
  • Demolition of the existing stadium and conversion of the stadium into a multi-purpose sport & recreational park.

The Mayoral Committee of 22 January 2014 had resolved, on the majority decision by the community, to convert the ODI stadium into a multipurpose sport and recreational park. The community consultation process would need to be repeated, to make sure that their wishes were implemented. 

The proposed way forward to establish the new multi-purpose sport and recreation facility, would include the following elements:

  • demolition of the existing stadium;
  • newly grassed main field with floodlights;
  • athletics track;
  • security fencing and parking;
  • upgrading the existing two practice soccer fields in the precinct;
  • upgrading the existing multi-purpose courts in the precinct;
  • upgrading the existing indoor centre (precinct);
  • new public ablutions;
  • new change rooms; and
  • a new clubhouse.

Funding proposal

Following the Portfolio Committee (PC) visits, the City of Tshwane (CoT) had engaged with the DSAC and declared its intention to submit funding proposal to National Treasury (NT) under the budget facility for infrastructure (BFI).

By design, the BFI was meant to fund projects between R1 and R3 billion in sectors that included municipal infrastructure. In essence, this meant cost estimates for proposed upgrades must meet the above minimum threshold. The current estimates were around R1.3 billion for HM Pitje and R270 million for ODI. DSAC was required to support this application through an endorsement letter. To this end, the preparation of a DG submission was under way, and a letter would be issued after consultation with the CoT and approval by the DG, noting the closing date of end June.

In terms of Schedule 5B, the provision and maintenance of local sport facilities was a primary mandate of local government. However, the Constitution also empowered the national government -- in this instance, the DSAC -- with legislative and executive authority to oversee the effective performance by municipalities of their functions in respect to schedule 5B. The above clause justified the intervention in the municipal infrastructure grant (MIG) and could still be applied in the urban settlements development grant (USDG), to ensure that it was used accordingly to also deliver sport infrastructure, and the latter must also be included in the municipal Built Environment Performance Plans (BEPP). It was therefore justifiable in this context that funding for sport infrastructure was made available to local government in the form of 15% of the USDG.

The DSAC had already engaged with NT to explore the possibility of ring-fencing 15% of the USDG, which was almost equivalent to the MIG for metros. The purpose of ring-fencing was to provide the DSAC with some degree of control on the funding mechanisms that cater for sport infrastructure, to ensure that such infrastructure was actually implemented by the metros. NT had indicated that their data showed that metros spend more than the proposed 15% on sport infrastructure, but this had not been verified by work on the ground. NT had advised the DSAC to embark on a process to verify these reports, and if evidence suggested otherwise -- that the USDG was not used to cater for sport infrastructure -- then the DSAC proposal may be considered, just like the proposal on ring-fencing portion of MIG for allocation was justified and supported. The DSAC intended to conclude this process by no later than the end June in order to be on time for submission to the relevant budget committees.

United Mamelodi report on HM PITJE Stadium

Mr Sibonelo Mafu, Secretary, United Mamelodi, said that during a Ntirisano public meeting held at Moretele Park in November 2015, the Bring Back HM Pitje (#BBHMP) movement had delivered a memorandum to the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Mayor of the City of Tshwane. The issue raised was how the stadium had been left to ruin by the Provincial Government and was not serving the people of Mamelodi as it had in past years. The Premier of Gauteng had then made an undertaking to start embarking on a process to consult with the leaders of the movement to ensure that the asset was properly utilised. However, to date the consultation was still taking place with no effect whatsoever, the stadium remained in ruins, and was being vandalised and stripped of its glory.

HM Pitje Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium, located in Mamelodi, a suburb of Tshwane. It was named after Hezekiel Mothibe Pitje, the first mayor of Mamelodi, and was built in the late 1970s. Over the years the stadium was utilized by Mamelodi Sundowns, various school sporting codes, and as a training field by teams participating in the 2010 World Cup and by various community members.

In 2009, it was earmarked to be part of the FIFA legacy project, where it was to be developed so it met FIFA's standards to be used as a training ground, at a cost of R74 million. After the World Cup, it was never used by teams and the community at large. It continued to be vandalised and stripped of its dignity, mainly due to the unavailability of security personnel, and lack of occupancy. The City of Tshwane has refused to take responsibility for their assets, as it had been handed over to the Gauteng Provincial Government for refurbishment.

In 2017, the Department of Infrastructure Development had proposed a new plan for the stadium after the demolishment had taken place. The “new look” HM Pitje Stadium was to follow the likes of the smaller Sinaba stadium in Daveyton, but this was seen as purely disrespectful by the #BBHMP, as it did not represent the true legacy of what HM Pitje represented. The proposal was rejected by the movement after consultation with the community. A request was made to the DID to reconsider the new plan and to factor in all the requests made by the community of Mamelodi, such as increasing the seating capacity, ensure it met South African Football Association (SAFA) and FIFA standards. In 2018, new plans were presented at a meeting that was held in Mamelodi, during which the community requested a few changes.

In 2019, plans for demolishing, and plans for the new stadium were presented by the Gauteng Provincial Government, which were set to commence in March 2020. At a meeting held at Irene Country Lodge, the City of Tshwane issued a demolishing certificate , the #BBHMP, councillors, and various community members all approved the plans. In 2020, follow-ups were made to the Gauteng Provincial Government, with no response from the stakeholder. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mamelodi United met with Gauteng Premier David Makhura in the Indaba Hotel at Fourways, where he indicated that the province did not have a budget for reconstructing the stadium, but had R15 million for demolishing the existing building. He also gave them the green light to go and source a funder that could help the province with finances to fund the stadium.

They had then engaged the Motsepe Foundation, Eren Nan and the late Andrew Nkambule.  Ms Nan had attended the meeting where they had met with Premier Makhura, and she had agreed to fund the entire project with 85%+ of the funding requested by the Gauteng government. She had even given the Premier a letter committing herself to the promises she made. The Motsepe Foundation had also expressed an interest in helping with the funding of the project.

On the 27 February 2021, they had embarked on their first peaceful march to meet with Premier Makhura, Ms Mbali Hlophe, MEC for Sports, Mr Lebogang Maile, MEC for Housing, and the then MEC for Health, Dr Bandile Masuku, to address the issues of healthcare facilities, sporting facilities, and the reconstruction and development programme (RDP) houses given to the foreign nationals and all those who did not qualify to have houses. However, all their efforts went to waste when the Premier and his team delegated drunkards to come and attend their peaceful march to seek answers to all the questions the community had for the Gauteng government.

The Gauteng government had delegated Mr Jayiya , the Premier’s advisor, Mr Mzi Khumalo, Chief Whip of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL), and Mr China Machinini, Acting Director: Corporate Services, Department of Sport. Mr Jayiya was up to date with every little detail they were requesting from the Gauteng government, because he was always available when they needed the Premier. They had also embarked on a second march on 13 March 2021 after the first march failed, because the Gauteng delegation did not have the answers the community needed from the Premier. They also had radio interviews on Metro FM (Marawa world sport), Power FM (Thabiso Tema) and Mams Radio, and coverage in the Pretoria News, the Record (Mamelodi) and other media platforms.

Since 2016, various peaceful campaigns, marches  and cleanups had been held around the Mamelodi township. These were to demonstrate to the Gauteng Provincial Government the importance of having the stadium in a full functioning capacity. Media publications had shown all these positive initiatives.

Since 2016, various proposals from the community had been shared on how the newly developed stadium would operate so it could be sustainable throughout its existence and remain self-sufficient. In 2017, a report had been issued by the Gauteng Provincial Government entitled, “Completion of HM Pitje Stadium." The report tabled the activities that had taken place since 2007. Also included were the recommendations and budget on how the HM Pitje stadium would be restored. A proposal by the community of Mamelodi on how the stadium would be utilised, once it was restored, was shared amongst the stakeholders. These suggestions were also part of the report released in 2017.

The community had recommended that the stadium be restored partially for a period of three to five years. This included the rebuilding of the pavilion and the turf surface so the stadium could be utilised by different sporting events, ensuring the safety of the old grandstands. This would have ensured some sort of activity -- which had been the experience with the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein -- and was based on the available budget that had been allocated to the DID by National Treasury.

One of the recommendations, after many meetings held in Mamelodi, was to rebuild the whole stadium into a new precinct, where different activities might take place, ensuring the land in and around the stadium was used accordingly. These had been presented and welcomed by the community of Mamelodi at a meeting held in Irene Country Lodge.

After so much back and forth, with many meetings and consultations etc, the residents of Mamelodi were aggrieved by the attitude of their leaders -- the Gauteng Provincial Government, the City of Tshwane, Premier Makhura and Ms Hlophe. They have failed the residents of Mamelodi, ensuring that their future and economy remained suppressed, and that drug and substance abuse by the youth thrived in their community. Most projects had been prioritised, except for the stadium, and even after budgets were allocated, they still found themselves without a fully functioning stadium. 

Their request was that the approval process of the stadium be fast tracked, as a functioning stadium played a major role in alleviating poverty and creating job opportunities.

Athletics Tshwane West on ODI Stadium

Mr Peter Lesola, Chairperson, Athletics Tshwane West, gave a pictorial presentation to the Committee, illustrating the derelict condition of the stadium, and the improvements his organisation had made since making it their headquarters in 2019.

The Chairperson thanked the presenters for updating the Committee on the current state of affairs and welcomed the fact that communities wanted to work together with the government to find solutions to the problems that were affecting them. She also acknowledged the presence of government officials at the meeting, and said that it was important for everyone to engage on the matters that had been presented and try to find ways to move forward.

Discussion

Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) raised concerns over what was taking so long for the decision to demolish the stadiums. He asked about the funds from 2010 and wanted to know how the funds were spent and why it was that the communities were not updated on the current circumstances. He asked if there were any employees who had been held accountable for the misuse of public funds. He was of the view that the government was not showing any real intention of helping the people of Mamelodi, and asked why Mr Mashinini [Mr China Mashini: Acting Chief Director: Corporate Services, Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation] had been continuously mentioned in the presentations.

Mr Mhlongo asked why the provincial government had been present when the Committee visited Mamelodi, and if any consequence management had been implemented over the lack of issuing the certificate of the 2010 legacy? He said it was important to know what had happened in 2010, because although there was a focus on the current situation, a lot had happened in 2010. He wanted to know who the project managers were back then and if any consequence management measures had been taken. He asked for a comment on the demolition of the stadium and what the plan for afterwards was. He also asked for the timeframes for building the new stadium and a comment on the engagements with the Motsepe Foundation. Why was the Department saying that there was no money to build a new stadium but when one looked at the budget there was excess money that could be utilised? He asked for feedback on the amounts that were presented by the Department, if they could substantiate the figures. He wanted to know why the Department was failing to recoup money that had been wasted in 2010, what the actual fee for demolition was, and the current status of the stadiums in Tshwane. In conclusion, he said that the presentation was good on paper but more issues could have been included. Had all sectors of the community been consulted?

Mr M Zondi (ANC) asked for a comment on the timeframes of demolition. He was of the view that the municipality was not playing its role in maintaining the stadiums, and this was concerning because community members were doing the maintenance themselves. He was concerned by the lack of engagement between the community members and the MEC, as had been highlighted by the presentations.

Ms V Malomane (ANC) was concerned about the state of affairs in the stadiums because they were not being maintained. She wanted to know what had happened to the R120 million that had been budgeted for maintenance of stadiums. Regarding the demolition of stadiums, she wanted to know if the community was engaged in the process and how many jobs would be created. She also agreed with Mr Mhlongo on the issue of consequence management, she wanted to know what the municipality had done about the fruitless spending, saying that the Committee must be updated on the issue. She asked whether the city had reprioritised the money intended for sports to other projects.

Ms M Khawula (EFF) said that a lot of things have not been accounted for since 2010. (There was a network breakdown at this stage). When connectivity was restored, she said that money was being distributed but not reaching the grassroots level, where it was supposed to benefit citizens.

Mr Tsaka Tsepedi (United Mamelodi) said that his experience with the Gauteng government had been bad because there were no role models for the young citizens besides drug sellers, and it did not respect workers. Since 2016, the community had been trying to engage with the Department, but they had not received any positive feedback and this had left the community frustrated. He told the Committee that Ms Faith Mazibuko, MEC for Community Safety in Gauteng, had never had a document handover. He urged the Committee to look at the history of Mamelodi and see how they had been producing athletes, but this was not possible because of the current situation. He asked for comment from the MEC as to why the Department had removed security from the stadiums. He had been calling the MEC almost every day, but his calls were never answered, and it was concerning that the public officials were operating in such a manner. The Committee had also heard that there had been money that was misused since it was meant for demolition, but it had not been used well. He said Mr Mashinini had been sent to the community and had been drunk when he engaged them -- this was undermining to the Mamelodi community. United Mamelodi was of the view that the Department had been giving the community a middle finger, because they did not care about their concerns. He asked why the MEC never engaged with the community, but always sent delegated people to address the community.

He said that there was nothing special about the presentation, because they had been hearing the same before, especially about the money for demolition. The community had engaged with some funders who were willing to assist with projects. He said the Department only did work when elections were about to take place, and this was concerning because they had been raising their issues for a long time. Leaders from the Department were not thinking about the voters at all, but were busy looking after their own concerns.

The Chairperson said that she was going to make sure that everyone in the meeting would get a platform to raise their concerns and provide feedback. She reminded everyone to be patient enough and wait for their time to talk.

Mr D Joseph (DA) said that the problems raised in the presentations had started with the fourth administration and they were currently in the sixth administration. There was a need to work on the problems so that the communities could be involved in projects, and the facilities could be maintained. He wanted to know the breakdown of contributions from all the government spheres in the funding for the projects so that the community could know how much was going to be available. He asked about the progress with the involvement of private partners in some of the projects.

Mr Kagiso Rahube, Deputy Chairperson, Athletics Tshwane West, said the organisation had been directed to present on the current status of the ODI stadium, and not to cover other issues. The pictures that had been presented were the work of Athletics Tshwane West, and they had been using the stadium and trying to maintain it. The lack of proper maintenance had hindered the progress of athletes from Mamelodi, and this had driven some of the youth in to drugs. In previous years, the stadium had been used for soccer and church activities, but this was not happening at the moment because of the lack of maintenance. The water supply was cut off after the handover of the stadium and the main problem was that no one accepted that they were responsible for the maintenance of the stadium. Most of the stadium materials had been stolen by criminals and it was concerning that there was no assistance from the Department. The community had been hearing about figures, but it was more than five years since there was a community engagement with the Department. There was no proper track for athletics in the community, and they were asking the Department to show some effort by taking action.

Mr Rahube told the Committee that they have been not getting any assistance from the Department and had been relying on services from volunteers to maintain the stadium. There had been no invitation to the community to participate and discuss some of the issues that were affecting the community, and this was disheartening. He concluded by saying that demolition was an option, because it would take time to have another project in the community considering the lack of progress from the Department, and there was no point in discussing things that had happened years back if the Department was not willing to fulfill its responsibilities.

The Chairperson thanked everyone for their contributions on the matter, and said that there were loopholes that needed to be covered which could be achieved only by working together, especially in consultation with the communities. She wanted to know why the security personnel had been removed from the stadiums, which had led to the communities volunteering their services and the stadiums now being frequented by drug users. She urged the government Department to work together with the community in the maintenance of the stadiums. She was glad that the presentations had not hidden any issues, but had highlighted the problems as they were.

The Chairperson was concerned about the state of stadiums, because they were now white elephants, and it was disappointing because South Africa was known as a sporting nation. The government must appreciate the communities because they were the ones who were always at the forefront of many projects. It was important that the government took measures to maintain the stadiums and had the support of the communities.

The Chairperson did not allow new questions from the participants. She said that it was the first time the Committee was engaging with them and working together, more could be achieved. She asked the MEC to give comments.

Response by MEC

MEC Hlophe said all the input was being taken into consideration. Some of the problems had been inherited from the previous administration, but this did not mean that the Department would continue making excuses. They did not take the concerns of the community for granted, and they tried their best to resolve issues. From a community perspective, they did not see the different spheres of government because all they wanted was development, and she disputed that their current work was motivated by votes for the upcoming elections -- their task was far wider, and they had targets to achieve that were not linked to votes in any way.

She said that the anger of the community was justifiable because of the various representatives of government that would have been in office at the time when the issues were raised. The Department had taken a unitary approach because they understood that they were representing a community with different political views, and this meant that they did not do work for votes but as their duty to provide for the community.

MEC Hlophe told the Committee that taxpayers' money had been misused in many instances, and this called for consequence management because it meant that the communities were the ones who were deprived of services because of the mismanagement of funds.

MEC Hlophe said that the Mamelodi community was sport loving, and they understood the role that sport played in their lives. The challenges would soon be resolved because everyone loves sport. She also referred to Mamelodi Sundowns as a positive team from Mamelodi that had done well. Officials had been criticised for their lack of action, and some of these matters have been aired in the media.

The current administration was trying its best to make sure that those who were contracted by the Department must do the work. The problem was that the public would direct their anger at the public officials -- and it was very valid anger. There had been a number of cases that had been highlighted because of the mismanagement of funds or misrepresentation of the Department, and a number of senior officials had exited their jobs as a result of strict compliance requirements.

MEC Hlophe said that she had always tried her best to make sure that the concerns of the community were taken into consideration, and this was why she always delegated certain people to deal with these issues if she could not handle them immediately.

On the issue of Mr Mashinini, the MEC said that there were senior Department officials that were present at the meeting, and they had all attested that Mr Mashinini was not intoxicated, so it was important not to cast aspersions against government officials. She did not mind an investigation being carried out on the matter, and she would respect the findings.

Mr Mashinini said that the MEC appreciated the comments that had been made by the different stakeholders, but he was mindful of the fact that she had made the statement on a national platform. He was not feeling well and was coughing.

The Chairperson asked that he be excused from the meeting so that he could rest. She did not appreciate the fact that he had been forced to attend the meeting whilst it was evident that he was not feeling well. She asked Mr Mashinini to exit from the meeting because he was not well, and he could write his response to the questions that had been posed to him.

Mr Mkhize acknowledged the presence of the community leaders in the meeting, but said that Members must be care when they made allegations against Department officials.

He told the Committee that the 15% was a projection of where the money would come from once the demolition was complete, and that the most important thing was not to create white elephants but to create institutions that were sustainable.

Mr Tsepedi said that there was no need to lie to people in the meeting. The MEC had received invitations to come and address the community, and the community of Mamelodi could attest that Mr Mashinini was drunk when he came to address the community. He also reiterated that the community had engaged with funders and they had paperwork that would prove what they were saying. If the Department was working as they were required to do, then there would be no problems between them and the community. He said it would be a waste of time if the Department came and lied to the Committee, and suggested that the Department should commit to timeframes so that they could be held accountable.

The Chairperson said that delegates should respect the rules of engagement and there must be order in the meeting so that the debate would be flawless. She reiterated that everyone would be afforded an opportunity to talk and there was no need to rush, and statements should be supported by evidence.

MEC Hlophe told the Committee that there was no point in suggesting that Mr Mashinini was drunk when addressing the community. This was because of a report that she had received from the senior officials who were present at the meeting that this was not the case.

It was not advisable for the Committee to engage or enter into deals with the private sector on behalf of the government. It would be problematic, because the government would incur the costs and the Department had taken a decision to review all the potential deals that could be agreed on, because there were checks and balances that must be considered before any commitment was made. As it stood, there was no budget for reconstruction, and it would not be wise to spend the bulk of the budget on one project while there were other projects that also required attention.

MEC Hlophe added that internal investigations had taken place within the Department, and the case numbers were available should the Committee want to have them. The under-expenditure of the Department was just under R100 million, and this would not cover reconstruction of the stadium because it was going to cost more.

The Chairperson thanked Members and those who had been invited to the meeting, and highlighted the importance of taking care, especially with the third wave of Covid-19. She wished everyone well and pleaded that there must be a spirit of working together for the betterment of communities.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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