Budget woes leave stadiums in limbo

R2-million was budgeted for upgrades at the Joe Slovo sports fields but the fencing has been vandalised and the resurfacing left halfway. Picture: Herald Photographer
R2-million was budgeted for upgrades at the Joe Slovo sports fields but the fencing has been vandalised and the resurfacing left halfway. Picture: Herald Photographer

Incomplete or vandalised Bay facilities paint bleak picture

Months after the scheduled completion dates, budget constraints have seen several Nelson Mandela Bay stadiums seemingly forgotten, with a number of half-built venues in a deteriorating state.

In 2015, the municipality provided The Herald with a copy of a list documenting 48 proposed projects by its sport, recreation, arts and culture department for the 2015-16 budget.

The cost of the projects totalled R104.5-million, with a minimum of R500 000 allocated to each.

Sport received the biggest slice of the pie, banking R62.5-million for repairs, maintenance and refurbishments.

About R30-million was set aside to upgrade and restore libraries, R9-million for beaches and resorts, and R500 000 for security at recreational buildings.

However, follow-up visits last week to 23 of the stadiums which did not make it onto the department’s 2016-17 budget costing list, painted a bleak picture of vandalised facilities, incomplete construction and an obvious lack of financial investment.

The 2016-17 municipal sport, recreation, arts and culture list reflects 19 proposed projects – 29 fewer than the year before.

Despite many of the stadiums that were visited receiving boundary fencing and touch-ups to ablution and changing facilities, several fell short of the stipulated job specifications.

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