Alex Renewable Project didn’t cost R1.3bn, but R2.2bn – source

The total cost of the controversial Alexandra Renewable Project (ARP) amounted to nearly R1 billion more than what has been reported by the City of Joburg, totalling a massive R2.2 billion with nothing to show for it.

This figure is believed to have emerged in classified information before the Human Rights Commission (HRC) inquiry into alleged corruption and possible human rights violations in Alexandra township.

Saturday Citizen can reveal, for the first time, that the total cost of the project, launched in 2001 to develop the township, was in fact almost one billion rands more than the reported figure by City of Joburg of R1.3 billion.

According to a reliable source, this explosive information was apparently contained in the testimony of head of the forensic investigative unit of the City of Joburg, Shadrack Sibiya, who spoke behind closed doors on Thursday due to the sensitive nature of the information.

The HRC’s Buang Jones yesterday said during his submission to the inquiry, Sibiya stated that the investigations into the ARP were still at an early stage, as they were only initiated a few months ago.

“Given the sensitivity of the info, I can’t divulge anything further as this would undermine their investigations and scupper our own efforts to obtain more evidence,” said Jones.

ANC ward councillor Tefo Raphadu and the leader of some Alex protests, Sandile Mavundla, who were both implicated in a preliminary report to have allegedly benefited from the ARP project, have both dismissed these claims by Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

“The office of the councillor wishes to state, categorically so, that these malicious statements about him are untrue and devoid of any facts or substance,” said Raphadu in a statement yesterday.

He said any allegations of misuse of public funds must be made public and concerned parties must be afforded an opportunity to clear their names.

“These statements that have been made by Mashaba, have been made purely to defocus our people from the real issues affecting them and we will not give them space to fly,” he said.

Mavundla also denied that he benefited from the project, saying that if he did, he would not still be living in Alex.

“If I benefitted from ARP, why would I still be around Alex,” said Mavundla.

Mashaba’s spokesperson, Luyanda Mfeko, said the city was not in a position to confirm the figure of R2.2 billion as an investigation was still under way.

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