Pretoria - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has undertaken to revive a R525 million Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) park in Hammanskraal following unfulfilled promises of 3 000 jobs on its completion.
The place has been vandalised, and on-site is an unfinished wall and a concrete slab.
Launched in 2016, the project was hailed as a game-changer, and promised to offer on-site training, technical support and incubators for small and medium micro-enterprises.
The entire project was initially envisaged to be completed by this year, but it failed to meet the deadline.
The project stalled under the watch of then Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, who attributed its stoppage to a group of local businesspeople demanding work during the construction phase.
Makhura blamed the DA-led administration for the unfinished project, saying things started to go wrong when they got into power in 2016.
He said the project would have benefited unemployed locals who were forced to travel as far as Centurion to look for jobs.
“From 2016 the BPO park stopped being done the way it was supposed to be done. Every year I come here I am told that they are still waiting for a budget. I told the municipality that the building of the park is very important because 3 000 jobs in the township is a lot of jobs,” he said.
The project had been abandoned, he said, but every time when the City knew that he was coming, it “sent people on site to be busy as if they were working”, Makhura said.
There were businesspeople who had “committed”, saying that the day when the park was completed they would start with creating 1 500 jobs, he added.
He had instructed MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Rural Development Parks Tau to complete the building by the end of next year, he said.
“I want to come back in 2022 to find that there are people who are working at the call centre,” he said.
Tau, according to Makhura, would arrange for a meeting with the City to sign a memorandum of understanding to allow the Gauteng government to take over the project.
“If they don’t want to sign it, we will institute an inter-governmental system, but we will take over,” Makhura said.