R40m hotel school built to empower youth left to rot – Joe McGluwa

DA NWest says AngloGold had donated the buildings in Orkney in September 2015

R40 million hotel school built to empower the youth left to rot

7 August 2018

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West will table questions to the MEC of Tourism, Desbo Mohono, following our oversight inspection today to a facility in Orkney that was earmarked to be a hotel training facility.

It is a disgrace that in a province with an expanded unemployment rate of 43.3%, the ANC government allowed what should have been a state of the art training facility to go to waste. This facility could have played a key role in skills development, training, and creating access to jobs.

We were shocked by the condition of the abandoned facility during our inspection. It is a dilapidated shell that was stripped of copper cables, geysers and other equipment that is connected to the building. Please see photos hereherehere and here.

On 22 September 2015, AngloGold Ashanti handed the building to the Department of Tourism. AngloGold donated two of its buildings, namely the West Boarding House and Community ABET Centre in Milton Avenue in Orkney, to establish a hotel school in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District.

AngloGold previously used the premises as a training facility for Engineering Learners (artisans) and for employee and community ABET Training. The West Boarding House provided accommodation primarily for learners.

Although the municipal value of the West Boarding House and Community ABET Centre is R3.7 million, the replacement value of these facilities is estimated to be around R40 million.

The training centre is located on a piece of land measuring 8.344 hectares. The Community ABET Centre comprises of four big classrooms, eight offices, five store rooms, a staff boardroom, kitchen and ablution facilities.

The West Boarding House comprises of 58 rooms of which eight are ensuite rooms. Also included in the two facilities is ablution facilities, a TV and entertainment room, three offices, a kitchen, dining hall, six store rooms and a lounge area for relaxation. On the premises is also a three-bedroom flat and outside braai facilities for the students to use in their off time.

None of these facilities are being utilised and the buildings have become mere white elephants.

The establishment of the Orkney-Klerksdorp Hotel School was supposed to be in response to the pronouncement of the former Premier of the Province, Supra Mahumapelo, during his State of the Provinces Address on 27 June 2014.

The promise was made that they will make sure that the school becomes the flagship hotel school in the district with the first intake of students in January 2016. Due to the lack of political will and negligence the hotel school is an abandoned building.

The DA will work tirelessly to ensure that resources are utilised to the betterment of our communities. This failed and abandoned hotel school project is an example of how the ANC fails our people and proof that the ANC is not really concerned about job creation in the province.

The DA will use all means at our disposal to urge the provincial government to establish the facility and thereby train young people to be able to join the job market and make a dignified living.

The latest unemployment figures highlight the need for real change that puts the people first and builds an inclusive and vibrant economy that opens up access to jobs opportunities.

Issued by Joe McGluwaDA North West Provincial Leader, 7 August 2018