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Cape Town – The Department of Arts and Culture has indicated costs for the Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance have escalated from R161 million to R221 million in the last seven years.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa said this was due to several factors.
The centre was launched in Hankey, Kouga municipality, in the Eastern Cape in 2014.
It was envisaged that construction would take two years to complete. But to date, the centre has not been completed with costs escalating.
The official opposition has raised the matter and demanded answers on the costs for the centre.
Mthethwa said the initial cost was R161m for the project, and that figure has now shot up to R221m.
“The initial budget for the project was R164 386 247.29, and thus far, R 221 338 422.72 has been spent, since April 2014. Yes, it was necessary for the department to increase the initial budget based on offers received, which were higher than initial budget estimates. The total amount of R182 418 492.80 was approved as the initial contract amount, and this amount also increased over time, increased due to delays, hence, expenditure to date is at R 221 338 422.72,” said Mthethwa.
“Reasons for escalation of the project amount include, approval of variation orders for treatment of asphalt, borehole and pump in response, to drought conditions in the area of Hankey, where the project is implemented. Additionally, other increases include professional fees due to extensions of time, contract price adjustment provision and preliminaries and general costs, and approvals of these items were between April 2019 and December 2020 to the total amount of R35 958 918,” he said.