The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape calls on the MEC for Finance, Economic Development & Tourism, Mac Jack, to provide an update on the management of the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre.
We specifically want to know if all financial statements were submitted by the previous service providers who managed the centre in the provincial government’s stead, including those statements needed for auditing by the Auditor-General.
We reiterate our demand that these statements also be made available for scrutiny by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, as it is our responsibility to ensure that every single cent owed to the provincial government is paid back by those who wish to abuse our public infrastructure for their personal gain.
We cannot be deaf to the rumours that political connections were at play and that politically connected individuals were making money hand over fist through the management of the centre while the local municipality is owed millions in outstanding rates and taxes.
It has now been more than a month that NCEDA has taken over management of the centre, following a lengthy court battle. Although this entity is entrusted with the crucial task of ensuring the economic development and growth of this province, it does not have the best track record of following through and delivering on promises it makes.
A striking example of this entity’s ineptitude is the fact that the designation application for the proposed Special Economic Zone in Upington was already supposed to have been submitted in 2014, but was still outstanding as of June 2018 – after more than R17 million was already spent.
The current board, consisting of ineligible members and those compromised by their business interests, does not inspire confidence that it can turn matters around.
We cannot afford to allow temporary teething problems to derail the management of the centre, especially not as NCEDA had previously given the assurance that it is perfectly ready to take over the management at the drop of a hat. As a flagship venue in Kimberley, the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre frequently hosts big ticket events and can therefore be a source of much-needed revenue for the province.
It is clear that only a DA-led administration can bring the change needed to instill clean governance in the Northern Cape, which will ensure that public infrastructure is used to the benefit of the people of the province.
Issued by DA