IT is with much sadness that I report that the once proud home of EP Rugby has been rapidly reduced to an exposed carcass as criminals descend to remove property and strip fixtures without any intervention from the municipality.
The indiscriminate looting of Telkom Park continues unabated after a raft of e-mails, phone calls and site visits to try to ensure the facility is made safe and adequately preserved until the redevelopment of the site.
I contacted senior official Charmaine Williams from the metro sports department on Thursday September 16, requesting her urgent intervention. I pointed out that the facility is now hazardous and that failing to secure it exposed the municipality to the risk of yet more litigation in the event of accidental injury or death.
I have requested Williams's urgent intervention in ensuring that the facility is secured, and that security be deployed to ensure no trespassing until a demolition order can be secured and effected.
I have further informed Williams that I am in possession of a letter alleged to have been written by a senior official, irregularly granting permission for the illegal removal of materials from a municipal asset.
This will be forwarded to the internal audit department for a full investigation.
I have also formally requested the intervention of the acting executive director to carry out whatever interventions are required.
I will be actively pursuing a demolition order and have submitted questions to the office of the city manager to try to get to the bottom of this matter.
In spite of my relentless efforts, vehicles continue to arrive daily on site to strip the stadium of any remaining items of value.
It is simply unacceptable that prime property like this remains undeveloped and be allowed to descend into a hazardous hub of criminal activity that has the potential to spill over into surrounding properties, negatively affecting community safety as well as property values.
This is the price we pay for a rudderless institution.
Dean Biddulph, DA councillor, Ward 2 and EDTA portfolio committee, NMMM