R52m police station still abandoned

2012-05-06 17:30

Johannesburg - The R52m Diepsloot police station has been left to decay after the contractor who was given a tender to build it, fell on hard times.

Police officers in the north Johannesburg township have been forced to squat at the local metro police building, even though their building should have opened two years ago.

The contractor, Realeka Investments, failed to finish the project on time.

Public works department spokesperson Thamsanqa Mchunu said the department cancelled the tender in 2010 after the contractor “defaulted because of cash-flow problems”.

The project was abandoned at the end of June that year.

Mchunu said his department was trying to secure funds to complete the police station in August this year.

Community liaison officer for the project, Abraham Mabuke, who is also a Diepsloot ward councillor, said the building had the capacity to house 200 police officers and additional administrative staff, whereas the current building accommodates only 40 full-time officers to service the area's 300 000 residents.


Mabuke said the building was almost 70% complete when the project ground to a halt.

Part of the roof had since blown off, he said.

Wild vegetation can be seen growing on the pavement and encroaching on the building.

“It is a serious challenge. The department of public works promised to appoint a new contractor in the new financial year, but this is not happening. The police station is now a white elephant,” he said.

He said the police station was needed by the community because crime was still high in Diepsloot, the most common being house break-ins, assaults and robberies.

Greg Schneemann, the ANC MP representing the Randburg/ Bryanston constituency under which Diepsloot falls, said his office had been following up on the matter. Schneemann said it was of concern to him that the police station was “not fully complete”.

Court case

He said he had taken the issue up with the national police commissioner and the police minister’s office, but a court case involving the government and the contractor had been a hurdle.

“But there is nothing any of them can do because of the court action. The police station is not abandoned,” Schneemann said.

He said building a police station in Diepsloot had been “on the cards for a number of years”.

Previously, Diepsloot’s residents were served by the Erasmia police station. Erasmia is nearly 20km from Diepsloot.

This made it difficult for residents to reach the police as they had to take a taxi to open a case, and many could not open cases at night as the police station was out of reach.


Realeka Investments boss Ali Komane admitted that he had run into financial problems, but blamed his woes on a “financier” he had brought in to help him out when he ran into trouble.

He said he had told the department about his problems, but said he was busy seeking justice through the courts.

“It is a very sensitive matter. I don’t want to talk until the courts have made a ruling,” Komane said.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Lindela Mashigo said Diepsloot residents had previously raised concerns about vigilantism, which had led to the building of the police station in the area.

He said the SAPS continued to provide policing services in the area through the help of other law enforcement agencies despite the current situation, but would like to have a “fully fledged police station”.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-05-06 17:47

    "Fell on hard times" -a good excuse for covering up mismanagement. Rest assured, he has already spent the millions on cronie suppliers to receive his cut once the heat is off.

      Christopher - 2012-05-06 18:05

      As funds are normally paid only for work completed the last 30% has found its way into someones pocket hence the reluctancy to prosocute and the need to find funding. Makes you think doesn't it

      Martin - 2012-05-06 18:27

      Eish I spent all the money ... she is gone !

      Nicholas - 2012-05-06 18:44

      "Fell on hard times", probably lined his own pockets first then realized there was nothing left to complete the job. Will he be held to account? Highly unlikely, nobody is answerable for anything and its only tax payers money.

      Gieljam - 2012-05-06 19:07

      Only 52 million I think its hi time that we taxpayers get some compensation for our hard earned moneys squandered , stolen and wasted . I for one will hence forth give no money to any charity which I feel can be helped by this Government or the Lotto.

      Godfrey - 2012-05-06 19:09

      @Christopher, 100% correct, the question therefore is WHO signed the project off (to release that 30%) knowing the job was far from completion. Another Police and Public Works, BEE deal gone south with no consequences.

      trevor.roberts.148 - 2012-05-06 19:34

      I wonder if Ju-Ju is involved??.

      kasiboy55 - 2012-05-06 19:35

      I actually drove past the 'Police Station' last night and I was shocked... It really would have been a beautiful building if those idiots had finished it... What also worries me is that the Taxi Rank situated right next to the police station is also having problems opening... What a waste of MY MONEY! YOUR MONEY! Our hard earned f**ken money!

      Papa-storm - 2012-05-07 09:38

      wait wait thats my tax money

      Denise - 2012-05-07 09:53

      Yet More Money Down the ANC Rathole

  • Sharon - 2012-05-06 17:51

    This building symbolises the true state of our police force - derelict, falling down and beyond salvation.

      Atholl - 2012-05-06 19:11

      If the roof has already blown off then the problem could be Finance [AND] Specification. Could it be that .. the buddy awarded his buddy the contract .. another buddy supervised the specification .. another buddy supervised the payment. All the buddies focus only on the bank balance & the Ferrari (which is built to specification). When the roof blows away -- questions arise --> .. who checked the roof spec ? .. are the windows opening the right way in ? .. is the electricity earthed ? .. did someone check if their is cement in the concrete ? .. was the reinforcing positioned in the floor slab ? If the supervisor buddy, the payment buddy and the contract buddy are on the 'take' then they don't have standing to tell the contractor to sell his 'on-spec' Ferrari to fix the 'out-of-spec' building! ..... that's when the building grinds to a halt -- faster than the Ferrari. Us pirates - here in the Carribean - never deal with ship captains 'on-the-take', we simply 'take the whole ship' (if it's already to seaworthy specification)

  • Anthony - 2012-05-06 17:56

    ok all you cops come work with me here 1+ 1= 2 sorry guys but you all fail and if you want to know y ask me

  • Adam - 2012-05-06 17:57

    It could be used as a tourist attraction, never seen a white elephant.

      Lacrimose - 2012-05-06 18:42

      Now if we can only create an export market for all the white elephants!

      steve.dupreez - 2012-05-06 19:09

      ISn't it racist to call them white elephants??

      Lacrimose - 2012-05-06 20:45

      @steve.dupreez - as racist as white rhinos

      Gert - 2012-05-07 07:58

      Not long now and the squatters will move in or steal the police station bit by bit.

      ludlowdj - 2012-05-07 12:52

      what do you mean you never seen a white elephant........look around you the ANC is sure to have rolled one out to a town near you already.

  • Hadebe - 2012-05-06 18:01

    It is just like the hundreds of thousands of water taps they put on our houses, no water comes out of them, they are just tripping us over, the tenders has been awarded n the money shared accordingly, and everytime shower head delivers a state of the nation speech, he does not forget to mention those empty taps. we are in the wilderness here. but we have to free ourselves from this vise grap.

      Nigel - 2012-05-07 07:47

      you are lucky you are not in the Eastern Cape, there they don't even get school books.

  • Paul - 2012-05-06 18:03

    This is only a minnow in the scheme of things! Take a look at Kimberley Hospital 100s of millions wasted and still not a patient inside it!

  • pws69 - 2012-05-06 18:10

    Public Works AGAIN?? Sheesh, these guys don't work, it is just about tenderpreneurship and self enrichment, no matter the consequences.

  • Arnold - 2012-05-06 18:11

    This I am afraid epitomises the state of the nation, f@%kall works but the finances have been disbursed because all involved are on the take and feel nothing for the masses..kry vir julle...idiots

  • Wayne - 2012-05-06 18:11

    This is what happens when tenders are given to friends and family as oppose to actual contractors that know what they're doing.

  • Walter - 2012-05-06 18:24

    A police station that costs R52 Mio? Bloody hell, that's a lot of money! Wonder why the police needs such expensive premises? What's in there?

  • ngoako.mathekga - 2012-05-06 18:28

    Why are they struggling to secure funds? Does that mean they paid the contractor before the work is finished? If not what happened to allocated funds for that project in 2010?

      pws69 - 2012-05-06 18:35

      Please don't ask hard (and VERY accurate) questions. You'll embarrass the department of (none) Public works. :-)

      Piet - 2012-05-06 19:08

      That my friend is how BEE WORKS!

      Nigel - 2012-05-07 07:48

      yup, thats a good question

  • Adam - 2012-05-06 18:31

    The building does not seem to be more than a thousand square metres, and with top class finishes should not cost more than R10,000 per metre in 2010. Good taps, marble and granite floors and tops, etc. The builder should have finished it at a price of R10m. Whoever authorised the tender at R50,000 per metre, should be fired, or sent back to school.

      Joe - 2012-05-07 20:58

      But you don't understand Adam.... Most likely only 2m was left after all the "gratuities"/"Consultant fees"/etc that had to be paid as costs to get the business. How do you not have money if it was allocated? It means it was paid out and the sucker that disbursed it is left standing.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-05-06 18:38

    I wonder how any Minister at all can show their faces in public when we read of incompetence, dodgy deals, failure to deliver every day. They must be made of stone or they are supremely confident that they are untouchable.

      George - 2012-05-06 21:11

      Yes, the cANCer society is supremely confident that they have weakened SA so there is no effective opposition. We need to generate a political earthquake at the next election and destroy this putrid gathering of misfits and thieves.

  • Rocky - 2012-05-06 18:45

    Disgusting waste of tax payers money. Another multi millionaire due to corruption and fraud. The turnout fast and quick in the NSA. We must be the country with the most multi millionaires on the planet. What has been done to recuperate the money.

  • Piet - 2012-05-06 19:06

    Vote ANC!!! It is the right thing to do! Buwhahahahaha!

  • Tamaranui - 2012-05-06 19:40

    Disgraceful mismanagement of public funds at so many levels. There are so many good dedicated people out there why are we in this position. The people responsible for this are traitors to RSA and it's citizens.

      pws69 - 2012-05-06 19:55

      Yup, the ANC voters are responsible, and traitors to RSA and the rest of the citizens. MBeki state publicly (I think it was in 1998) that cadre deployment and control of all levers of state (public and private) are ANC policy. This is the result. Who keeps the ANC in power? Voters I rest my case your honour.

  • Thabo - 2012-05-06 19:45

    Re a leka = We are trying. U really performed up to your name.

      Sharon - 2012-05-06 19:54

      @ Thabo - How do you say "try a little harder?"

  • Gee - 2012-05-06 20:48

    Another R52m pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...go ahead...blame apartheid...blame the government...blame hard times...but whatever you do, don't blame your own incompetence!

  • Erna - 2012-05-06 20:57

    Another fine example of good governance!

  • Louise - 2012-05-06 21:55

    We have so many questions, but never receive any answers - how on earth does something like this happen...?! They cannot even house the police - that is the root of the problem : high crime + disorganised police force = anarchy!

  • Thabo - 2012-05-07 00:21

    I guess u got paid in advance hence cash flow problems. No special material is used to construct police stations. If a school with 20 furnished classrooms, library, staff rooms, chemistry and computer laboratories and sport fields cost R25m, what makes police station cost R52m ? What profit percentage was it allowed for ? Nonetheless, pay up penalties and vacate the project results says u have failed.

  • Thabo - 2012-05-07 00:26

    @ Sharon - Re leka thata\

  • Jason - 2012-05-07 07:44


  • Nigel - 2012-05-07 07:46

    How do you give a tender to a company that is not financially sound, answer = proper tender procedure was not followed & the contractor must have mismanaged his progress payments, as payment is made on progress or did the ANC Govt. not pay him on time, either way mismanagement & incompetence is at play at best, at worst it would include tender fraud as well.

  • Kevin - 2012-05-07 07:48

    I hef gott thee BBBBBBEEEEEEEE beez ness...I DEEMUND thee Tenda!

  • Schalk - 2012-05-07 07:53

    It can happen to any body; but where is the Public Works Department now in managing the situation and completing the project - take the contractor to court later. Nothing but lack of foresight and pisspoor management!

  • Gert - 2012-05-07 08:02

    Maybe this contractor (and friend of the people who awarded the contract) has closed down that company and formed a new one already and he is busy on another police station doing the same trick.

  • Mart - 2012-05-07 08:30

    I bet you that the contractors standard of living has been maintained throughout this. I hear no pledges from the contractor about his future plans other than blaming someone else...this appears to be a 'contractors disease' in this country. Whoever approved the tender in the first place is also to be probed because the solvency and management of a tenderer should be investigated in full before a tender is awarded.

  • Mart - 2012-05-07 08:43

    Behind all these smokescreens that are created by and then ignored by the ANC Government, is a deeper and more sinister objective. South Africans, I am warning you now, this government has 'sold out' to the Chinese. They are already issueing planeloads full of chinese citizens with RSA permanent residence - these are the advance parties that will make up the lower and middle management of all the chinese owned mines and businesses that are being established here. To follow will be the cheap labour from China who will put locals out of jobs. Look no further than Zimbabwe where the current news is that Chinese Military Generals have a powerful say in who will replace can they do this ? They can do this because they 'own' the ZANU PF decision makers....and I have no doubt that the ANC can be found somewhere in their very deep pockets.

  • Matthew - 2012-05-07 09:01

    Why isnt there an investigation?! where has all this tax payers money gone too? he "fell on hard times" nonsense!!! Look into it,find out what the bloody hell he did with it,charge him for fraud. and get our money back so we can still pay a contractor to finish the building.not that the police do anything,but still. instead i can just see it now "new deal for contractor,with a whole nother 52million to blow" and whats the bet he'll have problems too. This countrys corruption with the goverment and just for simple things like housing our police force so they can work,is like asking for rainbows and for the skies to rain gold?! should be investigaTING AND TAKING ACTION! sigh at caps (need new keyborad)

      Gert - 2012-05-07 09:17

      He fell on hard times to decide what to do with all the money he made------very hard decisions to make------a merc---porch????? what to do what to do?? ----Maybe he decided on a BMW and a new mansion.

  • nmamabolo1 - 2012-05-07 12:17

    i was a victim of a housebreak last year and i believe if the station was completed on tym such crime could have been avoided.Now i lost my stock,i am penniless and my dream of startin a business remain just A DREAM.dpsloot resident.

      Joe - 2012-05-07 21:22

      I am truly sorry to hear about this loss nmamabolo1. I myself could tell many similar stories, both my own and that of friends. Yet sadly this is how each and everyone of us are impacted by the bungling of the powerless and clueless powers that be.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-07 12:48

    How much bullsh*t does government think it can really feed us and get away with it. since when does a contractor ever have an open ended contract that allows him to back out of a contract or not finish it without recourse or recon-pence? The contractor must be sued for the full contract cost and someone else must be employed to finish it. The government fails usual.

  • Jonathan - 2012-05-13 13:33

    Who is going after the contractor or is it going to be swept under the carpet. Who was responcible for awarding this contract. He/she did not do their work. Incompetant!!! How much kick backs did the goverment officials got that awarded this contract. This is a nice excample of the results of BEE and Afrimative Action. Nice going a#$holes. Steal from the taxpayer and enrich yourself. All af them should be investigated. Don't put them in jail. Let them help build/ reconstruct our road and infrastruckture and let them work back the money that they stole and wasted.

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