Grootboom calls for review of R10bn project
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.
ANSWERS PLEASE: Lance Grootboom wants more details of a housing development on the outskirts of Despatch