Will construction be halted at the new clubhouse of the Louis Trichardt Rugby Club? These are some of the questions asked months after construction as started on the new facilities of the rugby club despite the municipality not renewing the club's lease agreement.
The development of the new mall has raised a lot of question, but answers are few.
Several weeks have passed without any response from the municipality about questions put to them, the most basic of which is simply: What happens now?
The development of the mall has been marred by controversy ever since the sale of the property was concluded between the Makhado Municipality and the developer, the Masingita Group of Companies, early in 2016. One of the biggest concerns has been the way the municipality has handled the relocation of Louis Trichardt’s local sport clubs and their respective facilities.
At the beginning of the year, the governing bodies of the various sport clubs were shocked to learn that contractors were already on site and had started with ground clearing. The clubs affected include the jukskei, rugby, soccer and netball clubs and their respective fields, as well as the well-known rugby lapa that houses the clubhouse and the local darts club.
Moreover, no clarity exists about whether the town’s squash club and the adjacent hall, which houses the gymnastics, badminton and wrestling clubs, will be relocated or not.
When ground clearing started in January this year, it was made clear at stakeholder meetings that relocation of the gymnastics and squash club’s facilities would not be necessary. In recent weeks, however, rumours doing the rounds suggest that this is already a done deal and that both facilities will have to relocate.
Now, at the beginning of May, when the rugby club was supposed to be relocated to their new facilities east of the municipal show grounds, the development has seemingly come to a halt.
Apart from the rumours that Council cannot supply the necessary electricity connections, another rumour would have it that a court interdict was obtained to halt all construction at the new rugby club house.
Regarding the electricity connections, the municipality was only approached on Wednesday for comment, soon after the newspaper was made aware of the allegations, which did not leave enough time for the spokesperson to respond to these enquiries. Questions about what exactly the development and relocation of clubs would entail in future remained unanswered.
Threats of a court interdict were denied by the rugby club this week. The club, through their legal representative, indicated that they were still trying to get the Makhado Municipality to draft a new lease agreement. To date, their efforts have been futile.
“I just wish they [municipality] will appoint a designated person to clarify the matter for us,” said a frustrated Kevin Gilbert, chairman of the rugby club, on Wednesday. “I really don’t know what is going for what.”
Date:13 May 2018 - By: Isabel Venter
Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.