Dispute deepens over archive edifice

THE construction of the archive building in Mpumalanga is embroiled in yet another controversy.

This is after it emerged yesterday that more than R4million had been spent on a wrong site in Nelspruit.

First its price skyrocketed from R94million to R161million in a year, and now funds have been spent on a wrong site.

The report of the Auditor-General says the department of culture and recreation failed to provide detailed information on the R4116721 that was spent on the planning and preparation of a new archive building in Nelspruit.

The report says the departmental head, Sindi Mjwara, spent the money on a site that had been earmarked for rezoning of an access road.

But Mjwara has gone scot-free because public funds watchdog Scopa believes the blame should be heaped on former public works headPriscilla Nkwinika.

Scopa chairperson Fish Mahlalela said yesterday: "We strongly feel that Nkwinika misled Mjwara by identifying a site which was earmarked for rezoning."

The committee recommended that the public works department, as an implementing agent, should ensure proper planning for projects that are implemented on behalf of other departments.

The committee also noted that the department had only spent 94percent of its 2006-07 allocation of R122356million, resulting in an under expenditure of R6593million.

It also emerged that an expenditure of R5million for the Mpumalanga Academy of Sport was not transferred to the institution.