Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday has lashed out at the Emfuleni local municipality for spending almost R50 million on a public park that is still unfinished.
"This is yet again a sorry story of the ANC administration in Emfuleni. The municipality cannot pay R70 million to Randwater to prevent the taps from running dry, yet it can waste the residents' rates and taxes on a lavish park," DA Gauteng Constituency head for Emfuleni North, Kingsol Chabalala, said.
Chabalala said that the municipality had spent R48 429 722 from 2009 to date on what was now a derelict park in Vereeniging.
"Dickenson Park was supposed to be a precinct for the local residents to enjoy – equipped with a stage for performances, a clubhouse, VIP parking, reception and a ticketing building," he said.
"The lavish designs included ablution facilities elevated by columns which were supposed to be accessed via lifts."
Chabalala said the DA recently conducted an oversight visit to view the precinct that had been completely abandoned, and had one security officer guarding it.
"According to a response from Cooperative Governance MEC, Paul Mashatile, the initial budget for the park was just over R27 million - eight years ago," he said.
"Renovations at the park started in February 2009, yet it still remains a pipe dream for the community." Chabalala said that the DA would, over the coming weeks, reveal further information relating to Dickenson Park.
"Mayor Simon Mofokeng must do the honourable thing, take his pension and resign from public office for good. He lacks the political will to tackle these issues in Emfuleni."
"We will not stand by and watch how officials and politicians in Emfuleni sit on their hands and abuse public money," Chabalala said.