Citizen Reporter
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3 minute read
29 Apr 2022
5:30 am

Family wants R5.6m white elephant demolished to reclaim its land

Citizen Reporter

Public accounts committee calls on municipality to account for situation

Image for illustration purposes: iStock

The cash-strapped Ramotshere Moiloa local municipality has not officially handed over a community hall built in 2018 following a dispute over land ownership.

Said to have cost the taxpayer a staggering R5.6 million, the Mpakirabusang Community Hall does not appear to justify the amount poured into it.

With more than 10,000 people living in Mokgola village, the community hall can accommodate less than 150 people. The parking lot can only accommodate five cars. The fence is collapsing, some windows are broken and some walls are cracking.

North West’s provincial public accounts committee has requested they be furnished with a structural assessment plan. The municipality was given seven days to do this over a month ago.

According to committee chair Job Dliso, the structural assessment plan was meant to outline the purpose of the hall, the maintenance plan and how the staff would be paid.

“We have been waiting without any success for the assessment plan from the municipality,” Dliso said. “They did not comply and left us with no choice but to summon them.

“We will issue out a media alert once we have a designated date of when we summon them. Remember it was not only this project, there are many other projects they should account for.”

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Dliso added there “was no value for money” in this project.

“The contractors will need to be brought in for questioning.

“These are people deemed to be experienced in their fields. This sewerage system cannot service the villagers. It is too small.”

The hall is almost empty, with only a four-plate stove which appears to not have been used. There are two toilets but no water as the pressure pump has been stolen.

According to former councillor Dunga Pule, who was in charge during the construction of the building, the Motsoakae family claimed the municipality used their land without consent. The family is demanding the building be demolished so their descendants can use their ancestral land.

“We consulted the family before the erection of the building and they gave permission for us to use their land.

“I know a member of a family then came to dispute that the family was consulted. That is an issue I cannot say anything about because I am no longer a ward councillor,” Pule said.

The former councillor blames political instability in the North West municipality for the hall not being handed over. There were three mayors between 2016 and 2021 and the municipality spent much of its term under provincial administration.

Family member Rider Motsoakae said the matter was before the Bahurutshe ba ga Moiloa council. “Although the case is before the council, I can tell you that it is true that we want our ancestral land.

“My nephew is being taunted by ancestors to use that place. We were never consulted,” Motsoakae said.

The tribal council refused to comment. “Please, be patient until the matter has been resolved,” council member Boykie Moumakwa said.

Claiming the hall was a monument to corruption, community member Phemelo Menoe, 35, said: “There is no way that this poorly constructed building can cost more than R5 million.

“I can tell you that with only R1 million I can build something better than what you are seeing here.”

Another said she feared the building would soon become a haven for criminals. “I don’t care about the money spent or not spent in the construction of this hall.

“My only problem is that criminals are soon going to use this building as their safe house.

“The municipality should contract a security service to make sure that no criminals use this building as their harbour,” said Mmapaseka Diseko, 43.