Durban – Work on the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) in Pietermaritzburg may be halted as the Msunduzi Municipality needs to find more than R100million to pay for work that is currently under way.
The total value of the work currently under way is valued at around R240m.
The municipality successfully applied to National Treasury for a roll-over of around R90m that had not been used and now needs to raise about R150m from its own internal funds to be able to pay for this work on the Moses Mabhida Road.
It admitted recently that between the months of August and June, the contractors had not been paid.
Last week, administrator of the municipality Scelo Duma stated the municipality was struggling financially.
The project has been plagued by extensive delays and poor spending, which has forced the National Treasury to cut its funding.
DA councillor Sibongiseni Majola said the project was key to the city and abandoning it would be disastrous.
“The municipality has committed more than R200million on this project but it does not have this money, it has to find it somewhere from its own internal budgets.
“We were lucky in that the National Treasury approved the roll-over of about R90million of the funds that had been committed, after the council wrote to them detailing why they were not able to be spent.
“That means we are now short of about R150million.
“The situation is very difficult, I always say to colleagues that if the contractors could hear the conversation we are having about the finances of the city, they would abandon that site,” he said.
Majola said it was a bad move to cancel the funding for the project by the National Treasury, when the work was already under way.
“The project has not even reached 20% in terms of completion, there is still so much that needs to be done.”
Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said there were deliberations between the municipality, Department of Transport, and Treasury, with regards to sourcing of the funds and the continuity of the project.
“Once the matter has been finalised, it will be communicated to the public and the media.”