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Mon Dec 05 18:38:02 CAT 2016

Mayor's house in disrepair

THABO MOKONE | 2016-10-17 07:31:46.0
Akaya Holdings
Msimanga said despite being elected mayor two months ago, he was still undecided on whether to take occupation of the state house in the east of the city after it was damaged during the facelift. File photo
Image by: Robert Tshabalala

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga is refusing to take occupation of his official residence in the city's affluent suburb of New Muckleneuk, saying it was damaged during renovations that cost the municipality around R12-million.

The renovations were initiated by the city's previous ANC-led administration, headed by former mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, and were part of the R132-million project that also included the "refurbishment" of the city hall.

Msimanga said despite being elected mayor two months ago, he was still undecided on whether to take occupation of the state house in the east of the city after it was damaged during the facelift .

"I have not [taken occupation] and I do not think I will," said Msimanga from his office in Centurion.

"The furniture that was allegedly bought is not there. The cupboards are falling apart, the garage doors are falling apart, the closet doors are falling apart.

"There are leakages in the plumbing. If you open certain taps, you have water flowing onto the floor," said Msimanga.

"When it rains, because of how the roof was tiled, water flows into the house," he said.

The dubious workmanship is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the police after Msimanga laid charges against three Tshwane officials who have been fingered for alleged tender fraud in a forensic report commissioned by the previous administration.

But the ANC-led administration sat on the report and no action was taken until the DA assumed control.

The report states that the budget for the renovation of the city hall was initially R52-million but more than R132-million was spent.

Msimanga said there was little to show for this and he suspects some of the money went into the pockets of corrupt officials.

Among others, contractors billed the city up to R8000 a metre for wallpaper that was now peeling off. Electronic appliances such as microwaves and TV sets have been stolen.

The contractors also allegedly caused damage to the hall's organ that would have to be shipped to the US for repairs at a cost about R18-million to the taxpayer.

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