Dipaleseng municipality’s R15-million soccer stadium upgrade

Dipaleseng municipality's R15-million soccer stadium upgrade
LOOTED: The Siyathemba stadium in Balfour which the municipality spent R15m renovating stands as a blatant monument of corruption where nothing more than the painting of the old grandstand was done. PICTURE 013NEWS

Sources claim that the contracted man only did painting and “some groundwork” before disappearing with millions of rands.

The Dipaleseng local municipality allegedly wasted R15-million while attempting to upgrade the Siyathemba soccer stadium in Balfour.

Today the sports field is overgrown with grass and no match takes place there anymore since the shoddy construction was done in 2019.

It is the same stadium that former President Jacob Zuma used when he addressed rioting Balfour residents in 2011 over service delivery issues and allegations of corruption against officials.

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It has been abandoned now and youngsters don’t know where to play sports anymore.

It also has a tennis court, which the contractor also failed to upgrade.

Dipaleseng municipality's R15-million soccer stadium upgrade
The tennis court visible in the background is totally overgrown with grass

The work to upgrade the stadium was given to Bafana Radebe’s Big Family Construction company in 2019.

Community activists said Radebe received over R15-million from the municipality to upgrade the stadium.

Dipaleseng municipality's R15-million soccer stadium upgrade

It has always been government’s plan to upgrade the stadium as well as its tennis court on the side but looks like money was then diverted and possibly shared amongst officials and politicians in the area instead of finishing the work.

A government investigation recently showed that officials at the Dipaleseng municipality plundered close to R100-million in fraud and corruption between June 2019 and July 2020.

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It also found that former CFO Clement Letsoalo single-handedly ran the municipal FNB module and transferred money to tenderprenuers as he wished and without the involvement of a municipal manager nor whether those contractors had finished work.

He transferred over R400k on a Sunday in 2020 to tenderprenuer Alfred Zwane’s Mphophoma company. The report has recommended that action be taken by law enforcement agencies and also to force him to return to municipal coffers the money that he looted when he increased his own salary.

Dipaleseng municipality's R15-million soccer stadium upgrade

Community members feel the municipality has the worst leaders in charge and have been seeking external help, including writing to President Cyril Ramaphosa about the corruption in their municipality and also protesting and raising the issues with municipal leaders, with no response.

They have resorted to contacting journalists, seeing as things are going from bad to worse.

Dipaleseng municipality's R15-million soccer stadium upgrade
Balfour residents recently went to the gate of the Dipaleseng local municipality to complain about the alleged corruption of their own leaders and called for the municipal leadership to resign after all of them were implicated in the section 106 report released by the department of co-operative governance in Mpumalanga

Radebe declined to comment and said all questions should be directed to the municipality.

ALSO SEE: Clement Letsoalo transfers municipal money to tenderprenuer on a Sunday

Municipal officials said council already discussed the issue and “took note that legal action has been instituted in order to recover the money”.

(edited by ZK)
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