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'They are calling a chicken shed a stadium for R15m': Mmusi Maimane

SA 'hit a new low' with shoddy Eastern Cape sports field, says One SA leader

06 October 2021 - 15:12
The Lesseyton Sports Facility in Enoch Mgijima municipality.
The Lesseyton Sports Facility in Enoch Mgijima municipality.
Image: Supplied

One South Africa Movement leader Mmusi Maimane says the country has hit a new low with a much-criticised R15m stadium in the Eastern Cape.

This comes after photographs which showed what appeared to be a poorly built sports field in the Enoch Mgijima municipality, in Komani, started doing the rounds on social media, drawing much displeasure.

Eastern Cape co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha has asked the municipality to give him a full report on the project, which some have since said may have cost R22m.

Maimane was vocal on social media, disputing the cost of the project after presidency head of digital communications Athi Geleba attempted to defend it on Twitter.

He was speaking at an event to sign what his organisation calls “The People's Pledge”, a document equivalent to political party manifestos.

“While people are starving, they are looting left, right and centre. Last year we saw R431m looted all in the name of Covid-19. They were busy,” said Maimane.

“We saw the Royal Bhaca scandal, the motorcycles in the Eastern Cape, and the ambulances. These guys are busy. But this week we hit a new low: they built an unbelievable stadium. They are calling a chicken shed a stadium for R15m,” said Maimane.

He said a commission on local government capture would make the state capture commission headed by acting chief justice Raymond Zondo look like a picnic.

“Instead of fixing the problems of our people, they call Digital Vibes [the company linked to former health minister Zweli Mkhize's associates, which got contracts under his leadership]. The government is launching footpaths and they call it a road.”

He said what was worse was that many political parties were reducing the upcoming local government elections to race, divisions and history, forgetting that it should be about people deserving better and getting leadership from them.

Maimane said politics had captured local government to the point where people can no longer trust manifestos.

“This election is about telling the corrupt that their days are numbered. The thieves should leave! This election is about taking power back to the people, it's about saying we are tired of councillors who are imported [from] elsewhere, brought into our towns and then when they are finished, they start earning their salaries, they buy 4x4s and leave the town to go live somewhere else.

“We are tired. It's about giving power back to the people,” said Maimane.

He further promised that independent candidates who failed to deliver would be removed by communities.

“Let me warn you. You are standing as a ward councillor, you are standing as a candidate, today we sign a pledge that says the people shall lead and the people shall govern. It is the people who nominated you and believe you me, from One South Africa's point of view, [if] you fail, we will be the first one to come and work with the people to remove you.

“We are not going to wait for five years, we are not going to wait for factions, you do not need a disciplinary — you will go.

“Power to the people. You can't want power to the people only when you want votes. You must have power to the people also when they are unhappy.”