THE sad decline of Telkom Park remains a thorny issue within the metro community – where an entire sports stadium, steeped in sporting history, has been allowed to be systematically stripped and looted of virtually everything of value (“Battle of ruins at the Boet”, June 30). In spite of numerous efforts to engage the relevant metro departments to stem the tide of looting that has been allowed to take place, I regret that the status quo has been perpetuated as a result of the lack of action by the municipality.
A motion brought to council to try to preserve this metro asset was met with a similar response. The entire saga has also been reported to the internal audit section for an investigation.
More recently, on-site security contracted by the metro was terminated without any warning to the ward office or the directly affected ward community, apparently due to a lack of budget availability. This unfortunately now allows for unfettered access to the property which has, for all intents and purposes, become a health and safety risk, and a security risk to any person who accesses or lives in close proximity to the property.
In addition, uncontrolled illegal dumping has been allowed to take place, rendering large portions of the entire property into a tip site.
Where to from here? The relevant officials have again been approached – we are calling for the urgent reinstatement of security guards until formal redevelopment of the site takes place. We have engaged with Mandela Bay Development Agency chief executive Pierre Voges, to urge that the request for proposal documents are finalised as quickly as possible to allow for the possible fast-tracking of future development. A meeting was held with one of the contracted planners to give input into future development plans.
The waste management department has been engaged to try to address the issues of illegal dumping, to have the area cleared of rubbish dumped illegally (if possible) and to prevent access to the premises by vehicles wanting to dump rubble. We will be engaging the municipality to lobby for the required funding to allow for the immediate demolition and removal of the current dangerous structures to ensure that the public are afforded a safe environment.
The only long-term solution to the issue of this property remains the total redevelopment of the property into an area that adds value to the commercial, tourist and residential components of the area, and that adds long term value to the metro in its entirety.