A R15m Stadium and 4 Other Terrible Final Tender Projects That Cost SA Taxpayers Millions

A R15m Stadium and 4 Other Terrible Final Tender Projects That Cost SA Taxpayers Millions

From building basic-looking stadiums that cost R15 million to installing a borehole for R6 million, South African municipalities have been notorious for delivering mediocre services to communities. These terrible projects have frustrated citizens who feel that government officials are uncaring.

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South Africa municipalities spend millions on bad tender projects
Municipalities have always been proud of delivering mediocre tender projects that are not worth the money spent. Images: @1KZNtvNews, @FloydShivambu & @PanAfricology
Source: Twitter

The rampant corruption and mismanagement of funds at the municipal level tends to leave South Africans completely baffled at how government officials can get it so wrong.

The tender system is normally rife with corruption, and the final products delivered by some companies are evidence of said corruption. Briefly News looks at a few tender projects that had disappointing results.

1. Eastern Cape municipality spends R15 million on sports "stadium"

In October 2021, the African National Congress (ANC)-run Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality unveiled the Lesseyton Sports Field in Komani, leaving much to be desired.

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The municipality was immediately chastised by South Africans who felt the stadium did not warrant the R15 million price tag that was paid. The stadium was merely a dry grass field with very little seating for spectators.

According to TimesLIVE, the municipality explained the stadium cost R15 million due to the work done on the palisade fencing, rock blasting, earthworks, layer works and water reticulation installation.

They also stated money had to be spent on an athletics track, ablution facilities, changing rooms, a borehole, a sewer system with a septic tank, electrical installation, a rainwater catchment tank, a high-rise water main tank, a guardhouse, and a gravel car parking lot.

Despite the explanation, South Africans and political organisations such as the Economic Freedom Fighters felt a lot of money was wasted, and it was clear corruption had taken place.

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2. KwaZulu-Natal Municipality pays R6 million for a borehole

In August 2022, the King Cetshwayo District Municipality Mayor Thami Ntuli and his constituents proudly unveiled the opening of a borehole that cost a whopping R6 million in Nkandla.

The project would give 40 households access to water in the area. According to a post by KZNTV News, the Ngomankulu Borehole Development Project includes the installation of a 140Kl/day package plant equipped with water treatment facilities, a storage tank, standpipes, a pump house and related civil and mechanical infrastructure.

One social media user who goes by the name Thendo Muloiwa questioned how the municipality spent R6 million on a borehole and one tap when he spent R58 000 to have a borehole installed at his house.

According to IOL, the municipality claimed on social media that community members were thrilled when the mayor turned on the taps as they no longer have to fetch water from the river.

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The municipality explained it spent R2 064 million on civil scope works and R4 039 million on mechanical and electrical scope works.

3. KwaZulu-Natal Municipality builds a bridge for R4 million

In December 2020, the Nongoma Municipality mayor, Albert Mncwango, proudly showed off the municipality's ability to deliver services by showing off a bridge that cost the municipality R4 million.

The bridge looked incomplete, as it was just a gravel road bridge, with barricades that were not connected. According to IOL, Mncwango, who is part of the Inkatha Freedom Party hit back at the backlash and stated the bridge would come in handy for residents on rainy days.

Mncwango stated communities had asked the municipality to build the bridge because people were unable to get to work and pupils could not go to school when the river overflowed. He added that the finished product was worth the money spent on it, and he was not ashamed of the work.

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4. The City of Ekurhuleni spends R1.9 billion on a chemical toilets tender

In 2019, the investigative journalism organisation AmaBhugane revealed the City of Ekurhuleni paid over a billion for a tender to install toilets, adding that the tender merely enriched contractors instead of serving the poor.

In a span of three years, from 2017 to 2019, the municipality paid R1.9 billion for chemical toilets. AmaBhungane found the toilets were sourced from 16 companies, and there was little oversight of the tender, according to SowetanLIVE.

In the 2016/2017 financial year, the municipality spent R379 million for 16 098 toilets, which increased to 30 795 toilets with a price tag of R828 million the following year. In 2017/2018, the municipality purchased 39 112 chemical toilets and spent R758 million.

5. Vhembe Municipality unashamedly hands over shabby-looking toilets

Shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa came into office, the Vhembe Municipality was inspired by his Thuma Mina (Send me) attitude and decided to provide community members with "brand new" flushing toilets.

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Florence Radzilani, who was the District's mayor at the time, proudly handed over the outside toilets to the community. According to SowetanLIVE, South Africans were outraged by the final product and accused the ANC of being uncaring.

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) called out the municipality for handing over pit toilets to the community members, despite municipal spokesman Moses Shivambu stating residents were happy they no longer had to visit the bushes to relieve themselves.

"The handing over of the outside pit toilet is a degrading of the human rights of the people and health standards don't even agree to that, so we're very much disappointed," said PAC president Kenneth Mokgatlhe.

It is unclear how much money was spent by the municipality to build these toilets.

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Briefly News previously reported that assets belonging to the former police officers and their co-accused implicated in the dodgy “blue lights” tender were seized by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit and Investigating Directorate (ID) on Friday, 26 August.

Properties in Gauteng owned by several people, including former Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and former Deputy National Police Commissioner Bonang Mgwenya, were seized.

ID Spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said the accused face charges of fraud, corruption and forgery related to the irregular procurement of blue lights worth R60 million.

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