Let us hope Chippa boss pays attention to finer details

Siviwe Mpengesi
Siviwe Mpengesi

Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi has hogged the limelight recently in this neck of the woods. His brand is growing fast in the Eastern Cape.

The multimillionaire businessman and owner of Chippa United Football Club, which campaigns in the Premier Soccer League, has come up with  ambitious proposals that have far-reaching implications for development in our desperately poor province.

The relocation of Chippa United from Cape Town to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in 2014 brought huge joy to football fans across the Eastern Cape, regardless of which team one supported. And he spread the beautiful game across the province by bringing some of his team's home matches to  East London.  

Last month the Dispatch reported that Mpengesi was in the process of negotiating  a lease of Buffalo City stadium in a deal that would see his Chippa Training Academy stationed at the East London venue.

On Monday we reported that through  his company,  Chipcor Property Developers, Mpengesi had  donated some pockets of land to BCM for housing developments.

This is not the first time that Mpengesi has ploughed back in this province. A number of elderly and vulnerable people have received fully furnished houses from his generosity.  Born in Ngqamakhwe, Chippa has demonstrated that home is where the heart is. The Eastern Cape needs more people like him, who remember to give back to the communities they came from.  

While these endeavours are appreciated, some aspects of his offers have sparked controversy. The proposal to take over Buffalo City stadium has a rental of  R3,000 per month, and it's not clear what the fate of current tenants will be. The Eastern Cape is talent breeder for rugby and any uncertainty  will leave a bitter taste for this sporting fraternity.

Eastern Cape needs development, and her sons and daughters should take up the challenge and plough back

His housing development  proposal has also raised some debate. The DA says while BCM approved the land donation, as the official opposition party it dissented because “we believe that the asset transfer regulations should have been complied with, which includes public involvement and a lot more”. 

It is such issues that taint even projects with the best intentions. We hope Mpengesi does due diligence in all his ventures in the province so that we end up with a win-win situation.

It would be a sad day indeed to wake up to news that some of these ventures  are being challenged.

The Eastern Cape needs development, and her sons and daughters spread across the country should take up the challenge and plough back.

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