R7.7m centre on cards for Reeston
Buffalo City Metro human settlements portfolio head councillor Ntombizandile Mhlola told the Daily Dispatch yesterday that construction work would start in the new year following the finalisation of community consultation processes.
BCM acting head for human settlements Mamoeketsi Zenzile warned the council earlier this month that the provincial human settlements department had slashed an initial budget of R25.5-million to BCM for the construction of the centre to R7.7 million “as per the current National Housing Programme: Provision of Social and Economic Amenities Grant”.
The drastic financial cut has since led to a reduced scope of work to accommodate the available budget.
Zenzile said the objective of the project was to have a social amenity and facility accessible to those living in Reeston and its surrounds.
This would be “to avoid duplication of services and create a partnership of service providers” as well as to “bring in government and other private services as required by the community to provide two-way communication between government and community,” said Zenzile.
She added that a social facilitation process was held on August 12 this year to let the community know about the project.
“The ward councillor was advised of the progress made and supported the initiatives undertaken,” she said.
According to provincial human settlements spokesman Lwandile Sicwetsha, the project is in the final stages of planning.
However, due to the reduction in budget, the redesign of the centre was still being worked on.
“Once planning processes are complete, then it will be ready for implementation . Due to the shrinking fiscal allocation, the department had to revise and reallocate financial resources and, as a result, we had to make budgetary readjustments to all our multipurpose centres still under planning,” Sicwetsha said.
BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya said the centre, which would take up to 500 people, would be located close to the Reeston taxi rank adjacent to Sophathisana Senior Secondary School.
Asked if the tender for the project had already been awarded, Ngwenya said only that procurement was “under way”. —