Ekurhuleni projects a waste of money

Millions of rand squandered on two white elephants

Ekurhuleni’s unemployment rate currently sits at 39% and centres like the Barcelona Trading Centre and the Hive play an important role in alleviating poverty and giving traders a safe space to trade, says the writer.
Ekurhuleni’s unemployment rate currently sits at 39% and centres like the Barcelona Trading Centre and the Hive play an important role in alleviating poverty and giving traders a safe space to trade, says the writer.
Image: Leon Swart/123rf.com

I am deeply concerned about millions of rand that were spent on two projects in Etwatwa, Benoni, yet there is absolutely nothing to show for it. These two projects were supposed to stimulate economic growth in the area.

Yet like anything built by the Ekurhuleni municipality, both sites are inoperable white elephants. The Barcelona Trading Centre, opened in 2016 at a cost of R6m, and was supposed to create a safe and dignified trading space for small businesses in the area.

However, the 21 units at the centre are vacant and filthy. According to the traders I engaged with, there is a lack of public participation with regards to the Barcelona Trading Centre. Furthermore, they indicated that this site does not draw any foot traffic from the clinic, which is across the road.

This was the same situation at the abandoned Etwatwa Business Hive that we visited. At a cost of R44m, the Hive was opened in February 2019, yet has never seen a single tenant. This site, which could easily support 100 businesses, stands vacant.

Ekurhuleni’s unemployment rate currently sits at 39% and centres like the Barcelona Trading Centre and the Hive play an important role in alleviating poverty and giving traders a safe space to trade. It is unacceptable that we have millions of rand wasted on infrastructure that now needs to be repaired so that it can be used by small businesses.

Refiloe Nt’skhe, DA Ekurhuleni mayoral candidate

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.