Follow-up: R36 Million Disaster Management Centre remains inactive

Follow-up: R36 Million Disaster Management Centre remains inactive
"The Amajuba District Municipality Disaster Management Centre is still not functional or anywhere near being fully operational despite previous commitments regarding the government facility."

The Amajuba District Municipality Disaster Management Centre is still not functional or anywhere near being fully operational despite previous commitments regarding the government facility.

On 15 January 2021, the Newcastillian – Online News published an article on the Disaster Management Centre. It was highlighted that construction on the centre began on 10 November 2014, with the completion date earmarked for 11 January 2016. At the time of publication, addressing the matter was Sbonelo Cebekhulu, from the Amajuba District Municipality Communications Department. Unfortunately, he explained, work on the facility came to a halt due to the service provider failing to meet the necessary deadline—resulting in the contract between the Municipality and the service provider being terminated.

Following termination of the agreement, Cebekhulu pointed out that a legal process had to be followed, in turn, further hindering the process of setting up the facility. 

Moreover, he elaborated that the Amajuba District Municipality could only appoint a professional consultant in October 2020. Following the appointment of a consultant, nominating a contractor was next on the list, which was achieved by the end of last year. At the time of the initial article, he said, “As per the appointed professional consultant, the remaining work should be completed within five months after the appointment of a contractor.”

However, nearly five months later, a drive to the Disaster Management Centre reveals that not much has changed. Seeking answers from the Amajuba District Municipality, the Newcastillian – Online News approached the Municipality to establish when residents could expect to see movement on the project.

Cebekhulu explains, “The municipality is currently in a process of procuring the service provider to do construction work, Terms of Reference has been sent to be tabled to BSC.” With no service provider yet appointed to continue with the construction, the reason for the delay apparently stems from quantifying the outstanding works and finalising the project designs for the Tender. As a result, the Tender will only be advertised before the end of June 2021.

Looking at when Newcastillians can expect the centre to be complete, Cebekhulu says, “The aim is to ensure that the building is occupiable and functional within 5 months of construction.”

To date, the financial costs for the Amajuba District Municipality Disaster Management Centre stand as follows:

  • Construction costs: R32 521 418.36
  • Professional fees: R3 955 404.38
  • Total expenditure: R36 476 822.74

To which Cebekhulu assures, “There has been no additional cost to date on construction of the centre.”

Additionally, he claims all funds were sourced from government grants, for example, from Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Finally, it must be noted, the Disaster Management Centre’s core functions focus on assisting the community with issues, including preventing and responding to disaster incidents and conducting workshops and awareness campaigns. 

What are your thoughts on the matter? Share your views with us in the comment section below.

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