A piece of paper is all that stands in the way of the Dunoon community and a multi-million rand sports complex that has become a huge white elephant.
The R16.5 million facility next to Inkwenkwezi High School, is complete but mayoral committee member for area north, Suzette Little says the snag list has to be finalised before a certificate of occupancy can be issued.
Construction started in 2012 and was meant to have be completed by the end of 2014 but it had still not been finished by 2015 (“Project delay ‘killing sport’ in Dunoon,” Tabletalk, February 11, 2015).
“The project has not been stalled – construction has been completed,” said Ms Little. “We are currently undertaking the processes required in order to apply for a certificate of occupancy. This involves the rectification of snags and defects by the contractor.”
The certificate confirms that the building complies with building codes and can be safely occupied.
The sports clubhouse features a climbing wall, slide, basketball court, spray park, soccer fields, a cricket pitch and a skateable forecourt.
Dunoon councillor, Lubabalo Makeleni, is unhappy that the multi-million rand facility is not being used.
“We need the site to be officially handed over by the City. It’s frustrating that the complex is there but we cannot book it for church events, soccer clubs or artists for music festivals,” he said.
Christine Williams, founder and director of the non-profit organisation My Dunoon, has been asking the City when the facility will be opened since 2015.
“It creates hopelessness and despondency. So many promises are made and not delivered on,” said Ms Williams.
In an email dated January 25 last year, the City told Ms Williams it was “still awaiting the registration with the surveyor general for all the properties”.
Then in July, after a few more emails back and forth, the City told Ms Williams its attorneys had followed up with the land surveyors.
In the latest email dated last month, the City told Ms Williams it was waiting for a copy of the title deed.
“There are people living two streets away from this facility but they don’t even know it’s there,” said Ms Williams, underscoring the need for an official opening to get word out into the community.
The spray park section was opened in late 2015 by Belinda Walker, then mayoral committee member of community services and special projects. She said at the time that the rest of the facility would open soon.
“It’s practically completed, we just had an issue with the paint inside the building, but the facility is already in use and will be officially opened in the new year.” But 2016 came and went without the promised opening.
Dunoon resident Farm Malinga said he had to ask the City for permission to use the basketball court.
“I play basketball with children aged eight and up. It wasn’t easy getting permission from the City because they’re not officially open yet, but I convinced them and they agreed I could use the court,” said Mr Malinga.
“I like the facility. It feels like you’re outside of Dunoon. The children enjoy it too because they have no space to play basketball and soccer occupies every available open space.”