Qunu City is a ‘cash sink­hole’

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

The vi­sion to de­velop Nel­son Man­dela’s home­town, the vil­lage of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, into a state-of-the-art city, has faded, five years af­ter the project was ini­ti­ated by the pro­vin­cial depart­ment of hu­man set­tle­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to the Demo­cratic Al­liance (DA), the project has cost tax­pay­ers mil­lions of rands and there is noth­ing to show for it.

DA mem­ber of the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture Sanele Ma­gaqa said the project was ini­ti­ated in 2012 by the then hu­man set­tle­ments MEC He­len Sauls-Au­gust.

Ma­gaqa said the aim of the project had been to cre­ate “an in­ter­na­tional spe­cial pur­pose city” based on the theme A Re­flec­tion on Hu­man­ity.

“Qunu City was go­ing to be the first mod­ern city built by the ANC gov­ern­ment to hon­our Man­dela’s legacy and in­crease eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the area.

“The plan was to see Qunu’s graz­ing land be­come a buzzing city with ho­tels, banks, tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­i­ties, an in­ter­na­tional lead­er­ship col­lege and con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­i­ties.”

Five years later, Ma­gaqa said tens of mil­lions of rands had been spent on con­sul­tants, but the project had been scrapped as it “be­came ev­i­dent that there was no pos­si­ble hope of it ever reach­ing fruition”.

Dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee meet­ing on hu­man set­tle­ments in the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture this week, it was re­vealed that more than R46 mil­lion had been al­lo­cated to the project since 2013, he said.

“With an es­ti­mated cost in the bil­lions, those in favour of the project said donors and in­vestors would as­sist. How­ever, when ques­tioned about the in­vest­ments re­ceived, the depart­ment ad­mit­ted there was no in­for­ma­tion of funds raised through do­na­tions.”

Mgaqa said other con­cerns were the lack of buy-in from other de­part­ments, re­sult­ing in hu­man set­tle­ments bear­ing the fi­nan­cial bur­den alone.

He said the depart­ment had not pro­duced a fea­si­bil­ity re­port, de­spite over R4.8 mil­lion hav­ing been paid for it. – ANA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.