MMC accused of lying about multimillion rand project

The dilapidated Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria. Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers

The dilapidated Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria. Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 28, 2023


The City of Tshwane’s Social Development and Community Services MMC, Peggy de Bruin, has been accused of having lied to the public by saying last year that the multimillion rand project to refurbish the Caledonian Stadium in Arcadia was on track while it had in fact ground to a halt.

EFF leader in Tshwane, Obakeng Ramabodu, challenged De Bruin to give an account of the project that was allocated a budget of R67 million by former mayor Solly Msimanga in 2017.

He called on De Bruin to step down with immediate effect should she fail to account for the project.

“The call is made after EFF councillors made several inspections in loco to observe some real evidence after public presentations of unbelievable oral evidence from the unscrupulous DA-ActionSA coalition,” he said.

The EFF said it found no evidence of project progression “but were met with heaps of sand with long grasses and debris that shows us that the much funded refurbishment had long been abandoned”.

The “Pretoria News” reported in June that the site was littered with heaps of sand with weeds and debris. There was long grass, trenches and a stationary construction truck.

Lack of progress has fuelled suspicions that the City was struggling to complete the construction, owing to possible corruption.

The project was envisaged to have been completed in three years, but this deadline has been missed.

The EFF said at least R40m was used on the project during Msimanga’s tenure.

Ramabodu said: “We believe that the DA-ActionSA MMC has lied to the public and thus should openly come clean on what is going-on with the much-budgeted project which she claimed would be completed in the 2022/23 financial year while it has been brought to our attention that the contractor has long abandoned the project due to non-payment.”

Last year De Bruin expressed confidence that the project was on track to revamp the stadium, which was built in 1903.

Construction work at the Caledonian Stadium was revived in 2021 after a sod-turning ceremony attended by former mayor Randall Williams and former MMC Thabisile Vilakazi.

In 2017, Msimanga announced that the City had set aside R67m to refurbish the stadium, promising that the project would be completed in three years.

He said the municipality and SuperSport United had entered into a deal stipulating that the facility would be the club’s home for its league matches on completion of the refurbishment.

This was despite the fact that the facility had been used by Arcadia Shepherds since 1903.

The then ANC-led administration had plans to demolish the stadium and turn it into a multi-purpose park before the 2016 municipal elections.

Questions sent to De Bruin’s office were not answered by the time of going to publication.

Pretoria News

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