Groot­boom calls for re­view of R10bn project

The Herald (South Africa) - - News - Siyam­tanda Capa

Act­ing city man­ager Pe­ter Neil­son must ta­ble a de­tailed re­port on the am­bi­tious Nel­son Man­dela Bay Florida Heights hous­ing devel­op­ment at the next mu­nic­i­pal pub­lic ac­counts com­mit­tee meet­ing.

This, af­ter ACDP coun­cil­lor Lance Groot­boom tabled a mo­tion to the com­mit­tee, de­mand­ing de­tails about the R10bn project.

The mo­tion was sub­mit­ted a day af­ter Nel­son Man­dela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani launched the project, on the out­skirts of Des­patch, on Wed­nes­day.

Groot­boom is de­mand­ing that the agenda item on the devel­op­ment, which was agreed upon at Tues­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, be re­viewed, ar­gu­ing that the R10bn project had not been prop­erly pre­sented.

He said it made no sense for the coun­cil to pledge R100m to a pri­vate de­vel­oper.

Pre­sent­ing the mo­tion, Groot­boom said: “Coun­cil has not viewed the agree­ment be­tween prov­ince and the de­vel­oper. The project is not part of the 2018-19 bud­get as re­quired.”

Groot­boom said the coun­cil did not have an op­por­tu­nity to peruse the le­gal opin­ion on the project.

“Coun­cil did not have the op­por­tu­nity to view the pre­sen­ta­tion of the whole project and there­fore is un­able to ap­prove a project where the de­tails are lack­ing,” he said.

“The item has se­vere bud­get im­pli­ca­tions and was not served at the bud­get and trea­sury [port­fo­lio] com­mit­tee.

“Based on this, the devel­op­ment will have se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial, con­trac­tual and sup­ply chain im­pli­ca­tions [for] the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and ratepay­ers.”

While the ANC and the EFF were re­luc­tant to have the mo­tion heard on Wed­nes­day, the com­mit­tee chair ruled that Groot­boom must present it.

ANC coun­cil­lor Ncediso Cap­tain said the com­mit­tee had no pow­ers to re­view or re­voke a coun­cil de­ci­sion.

“I sug­gest that the mo­tion be dealt with at the next meet­ing be­cause this com­mit­tee can­not re­voke a de­ci­sion made in coun­cil – coun­cil is the high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing body,” Cap­tain said.

EFF coun­cil­lor Lukhanyo Mrara said Groot­boom should have sub­mit­ted his ques­tions and con­cerns at the coun­cil meet­ing on Tues­day.

Neil­son said a re­port and any mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing that would be drafted would be pre­sented at the next com­mit­tee meet­ing in 2019.

Pic­ture: EU­GENE COET­ZEE

AN­SWERS PLEASE: Lance Groot­boom wants more de­tails of a hous­ing devel­op­ment on the out­skirts of Des­patch

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