22 September 2015 - NW3175
Mulder, Dr PW to ask the Minister of Tourism
Whether special buildings and other facilities have been erected to receive visitors to the Vredefort Dome, and to brief and assist them; if not, why not; if so, (a) what did the total cost of the complex or information centre amount to and (b) whether the buildings are currently being utilised; if so (i) how many staff members of staff have been appointed and (ii) what are their official working hours?
(a) Yes, the Vredefort Interpretation Centre was designed to include a reception area for visitors. An amount of R11,7 million was budgeted for the Vredefort Interpretation Centre but was not completed due to the structural defects on the building and a budget shortfall. According to an independent engineer, the main building (interpretation centre) started to show cracks, leaks and structural defects as a result of the weak panels supporting the structure which would endanger the lives of any person entering the building.
The project proposal was prepared in 2004 and the cost norms and standards applicable at the time were used to determine the project budget. The actual construction work only commenced in 2006 which under normal circumstances would have included escalation to accommodate increased costs. The allocation of budget by the department did not take into account the time lapses and associated cost escalations.
The project was implemented in two phases and the building in question was one of the many deliverables. The building was done in phase 1 and the budget for the project included other deliverables such as stalls, kitchen, ablution block, fencing, bulk electricity and water supply.
(b) No, the Department of Tourism is in the process of completing the project.
(i) Falls away
(ii) Falls away