Free State Legislature to spend millions on maintenance of Raadsaal

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The Free State Legislature is set to spend millions on the maintenance of the Fourth Raadsaal building in Bloemfontein.

This, after the Provincial Treasury announced that it will be allocating R2,5 million for the maintenance of the legislature building in Mangaung, OFM News reports.

In her budget speech on Tuesday, the Free State Speaker of the Legislature, Zanele Sifuba, welcomed the amount allocated by the Provincial Treasury. Sifuba said the restorations at the Fourth Raadsaal are important for the heritage and the ability of attracting tourists. Sifuba explained why the process of upgrading the building took some time.

“The process regarding the modernisation of the Fourth Raadsaal remains in progress. We were compelled to halt the process in order to give attention to matters arising from the tender process. While we are not pleased about these delays, it is always necessary to consistently scrutinise and monitor implementation and compliance with existing regulations,” adds Sifuba.

OFM News previously reported that the Old Ramkraal Prison in Bloemfontein was allocated R120 million for refurbishments by the provincial government to house the Free State Legislature nearly a decade ago, but to date the project stands dilapidated with millions unaccounted for. Similar to the multimillion-rand Vrede Dairy Project, this project has over the years drawn much controversy with opposition parties in the Legislature demanding answers as to where the R120 million allegedly spent on the site, was applied.

The then chair of chairs in the legislature, Vusi Tshabalala, had previously confirmed to OFM News the heritage site remained in a dilapidated condition with millions unaccounted for. Tshabalala had also confirmed that the committee was displeased with the project and believes more should still be done to complete investigations.

OFM News/Kekeletso Mosebetsi