News / South Africa / Government

Gareth Cotterell
Digital News Editor
2 minute read
11 Oct 2021
6:01 pm

‘White elephants’: More than R600 million spent to create just 696 jobs in Ekurhuleni

Gareth Cotterell

Projects came at a large cost for little reward so far, but the MMC for Finance and Economic Development says the intended impact was achieved.

The City of Ekurhuleni spent a lot of money on projects that created few jobs. Photo: iStock

In a written response to questions asked by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the City of Ekurhuleni’s MMC for Finance and Economic Development said over the past five years, R606.730,761 was spent on projects that created only 696 jobs.

In addition, the MMC for Finance and Economic Development, Doctor Xhakaza, said the intended impact of these projects was achieved. He, however, didn’t say what the intended impact of each project was.

The City of Ekurhuleni has a 39% unemployment rate.

Twenty-five projects were listed for the five years, but not all of them managed to get off the ground. So no money was spent on the projects and no jobs came from them.

One of the projects – Aerotropolis International Hospitality School – created no jobs despite having R16.3 million budgeted for it.

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Some projects, however, came at a large cost for seemingly little reward.

Automative City in Katlehong has so far seen R44.8 million spent on it. In five years, only 30 jobs were created with this project.

At the Ekurhuleni Skills Development Centre in Vosloorus, the projected budget was R4 million. R3.98 million of that was spent on two consultants for the project – BW Design and Consulting Architects, and Zethu Consultants. An additional R30.4 million was then paid to the contractors, Vuka-11 Joint Venture. For all this money, the Ekurhuleni Skills Development Centre only provided 11 learner contracts – which were also part of the Expanded Publics Works Programme.

At the Etwatwa Township Enterprise Hubs, R44.1 million was spent for the creation of 119 jobs. Of this, R20.5 million was spent on 30 Vuk’uphile learner contractors.

A staggering R136.6 million was spent at the Labore & Withoek Industrial Park. From this, 26 jobs were created at the Labore Automotive Hub, while 18 were created at the Labore manufacturing Facility.

At the Reiger Park Enterprise Hub and Ramaphosa Vocational Skills Training Centre, R23.2 million has so far been spent on the project with just 10 jobs created.

The Springs Fresh Produce Market Expansion Project has a projected budget of R150.5 million. In the five years so far, R18.8 million was spent to create 310 jobs. Of those jobs, however, 62 came from the Expanded Publics Works Programme.

‘State of disrepair’

According to DA Shadow MMC for Economic Development in Ekurhuleni Senzi Sibeko, many of these facilities currently stand in a state of disrepair.

“Instead of ensuring that basic services are delivered, such as reliable energy supply, provision of clean water and regular infrastructure maintenance, the ANC and its coalition partners are more interested in adding to its collection of white elephants. Ekurhuleni is littered with botched ANC projects which continue to fall into a state of disrepair, while residents and communities are neglected,” said Sibeko.

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