By Kaya 959 News
Children and sports clubs living and operating in the City of Johannesburg’s Ward 82 have no access to the newly renovated Union Stadium.
The City recently spent more than R21.6 million on the stadium which according to reports, is unsafe for use by the public.
The DA’s Lebo More said Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile, revealed the state of the stadium in a recent written reply to questions.
According to MEC Maile, the Union Stadium is owned by the COJ and is managed by the Community Development, Sport and Recreation Department -Region B.
“COJ has spent R21 618 597 renovating the stadium yet it is still closed and not accessible to the public because it was condemned by OHASA in 2017 due to a huge crack inside the building,” More said.
More said the entire building within the stadium including the changing rooms and toilets were closed as it was declared not safe for use by the general public.
“This is one of many examples of shoddy workmanship which is unacceptable and a waste of ratepayers money,” he said.
More said if there was proper management of this project, these identified cracks could have been fixed by the service provider who was awarded the tender to renovate the stadium.
“COJ now has to allocate an additional budget to fix the stadium which is a waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said.
More said it has become a norm for the government to start projects that benefit the community and then either fail to complete them or there is shoddy workmanship. In all these cases, he said, the residents are always on the losing end of the stick.
“Local sporting clubs are in dire need of proper sporting facilities such as this stadium so as to nurture and develop young sporting talent from the grassroots level,” More said.
Stadium stripped by thieves
More said it is worrying that the stadium was stripped bare by thieves and vandals, yet there are Johannesburg Metro Police Department security services on the site. It concerns the DA greatly when the City’s security services are failing to safeguard our most needed community assets.
More said the party will write to the COJ to ascertain their intentions with regards to the stadium, demand time frames as to when the cracks will be fixed and when the stadium will be reopened.
“Athletes and sports men and women need such facilities to advance their talents to greater heights and to be able to compete with the rest of the world. We cannot allow our talented people to suffer and their hopes and dreams shuttered.
“We will continue to put pressure on the COJ to fix the stadium so that it can be fully utilised by the community,” More said.