Doubts eclipse project

2017-06-21 06:02
A model of how the Winnie Mandela House Museum should look like upon completion.

A model of how the Winnie Mandela House Museum should look like upon completion.

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The DA in the Free State has welcomed the restarting of the process that will see the completion of the Winnie Mandela House Museum.

The opposition party, through George Michalakis, DA-MP and constituency head for Masilonyana, has condemned the ANC-led provincial government’s dismal failure to deliver the project over 12 years.

Reaction followed another commitment to complete the heritage project by the Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mathabo Leeto, during her visit on Tuesday (20/06). In her company was the deputy minister of arts and culture, Maggie Sotyu.

Michalakis raised grave concern that another allocation would be made without investigation into what had happened to the budget allocated previously.

Leeto indicated the provincial government would see what they could do with the little funding they had to complete the project, while millions of rands had already been budgeted on previous occasions for this project, without any result.

“The MEC also alluded to the fact that the project held tourism and job opportunities to the benefit of the local community, but remained silent on why the ANC government had failed to unlock this potential over the last 12 years,” said Michalakis.

Irwin Langeveld of the Department of Arts and Culture clarified that there had been a service agreement of R20 million between the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and the Department of Arts and Culture from 1 May 2012 to 31 March 2014.

The R20 million was for the development of five heritage sites in the Free State: the Reverend Zaccheus Richard Mahabane House in Thaba Nchu, Bram Fischer House in Bloemfontein, Winnie Mandela House in Brandfort, Dr James Sebe Moroka House in Thaba Nchu and the Waaihoek Methodist Church in Bloemfontein.

A total of R5,6 million was reportedly transferred to the IDT to start the project.

“The original budget for the Winnie Mandela Museum was R3 million, of which R1 858 195, 71 was transferred.

“The project was handed over to the contractor on 1 November 2013. The contractor had on numerous occassions abandoned the project due to non-payment.

“On 4 September 2014, the IDT terminated the contract with the developing contractor,” said Langeveld.


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