Pretoria - Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga is determined to bring to book those responsible for creating what he calls “Nkandla 2.0”, referring to wasteful expenditure on renovations of the Pretoria City Hall.
Msimanga, who conducted an oversight visit of the city hall, said he was shocked at what R90 million had got the city.
“It’s quite shocking that R90m later, we have nothing but another version of the Nkandla debacle where money has been spent, but when you look at what has happened, it’s actually a shame.
“We’ve really tampered with the rich heritage of this city and this is something that I am still to investigate and find out really how people can justify spending that much money for the damage they did.”
Msimanga said the forensic report on the city hall formed part of the reports which, once completed, would be handed to the relevant law authorities.
He said that despite there being too much money spent on the city hall, more was needed to restore the building properly. The refurbished city hall would form part of the city’s new direction in boosting the tourism.
“Within a 2km radius of the city centre, we have the Union Buildings, Freedom Park, Voortrekker Monument and museums - all with a potential to connect us to the many investment opportunities,” he said.
Msimanga said facilities such as the city hall also held immense wealth for the film industry, and in the previous year alone, there had been eight requests to use city’s heritage sites for filming.
He said he had also visited the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve to see the justification of the R500m spent on it, as well as the Rooiwal purification centre.
“There are a lot of sites that I will be visiting in the coming weeks, but what I don’t want to do is announce where I will be going to otherwise people could try to sweep things under the carpet.
“I want to continue to do these unannounced visits, so I can see first-hand what is not working, so that when we start implementing solutions, at least I would have seen it for myself,” he said.
Msimanga said the work his team had included tackling infrastructure that had been neglected.
One example was the Centurion testing centre, which was in a deplorable state. “When you walk in, you are welcomed by filth all over. This is unacceptable for a government building.
“You go inside and speak to the workers... they are passionate, but they experience challenges of non-maintenance of infrastructure and printers that are not working from time to time. You have people who go to look for assistance that are being asked to make copies elsewhere. That is totally unacceptable,” said Msimanga.