Umhlathuze mayoral mansion to cost R20m, city budgeted R5.5m

Richards Bay port, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Facebook

With a budget of R20 million, uMhlathuze Municipality could have built 111 low-cost homes at a cost of R180,000 each, the DA says.

The uMhlathuze mayoral mansion building project in Richards Bay could escalate to an estimated R20 million, against the City’s R5.5 million budget, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal said today.

Premier candidate Zwakele Mncwango said in March this year, the DA wrote to Municipal Manager Dr Sibeko to sought answers on the tender not being specifically categorised as a mayoral house and later defined as tools of the trade.

“The DA in the uMhlathuze caucus also raised concerns on the budgeting as building construction consultants estimated the project to escalate to anything above R20 million when the city set aside R5.5 million,” said Mncwango.

“With a budget of R20 million, uMhlathuze Municipality could have built 111 low-cost homes at a cost of R180,000 each. A caring government would have built these homes for the poor and underprivileged.”

Mncwango said the party will write to the member of the executive council (MEC) for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube to investigate the matter further as they feel that the African National Congress is detached from the challenges faced by residents of the city.

He noted that the site was initially zoned for high-density housing and could have put up a number of family units that would benefit residents.

“At this rate, the already cash-strapped Umhlathuze Municipality will dip into more financial constraints which will affect service delivery, especially for the poorest of the poor.”

“Come the 2019 general elections the residents of uMhlathuze have the chance to voice their concerns at the ballot box and vote for a government that has their interests at heart, not the interests of the connected few,” said Mncwango.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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