The Boipatong Youth Memorial, established to honour and remember those who lost their lives in the senseless Boipatong massacre of 1992, stands vacant and neglected and is an insult to those whose memory it is meant to honour.
Officially opened by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura in October 2015, the R37 million facility is mostly empty and does not service the community, nor does it stimulate tourism as was initially conceptualized.
Structural damage is evident throughout the building, particularly in the in the archives section where water damage has seeped up through the floor and has cracked the walls.
Despite having made provision for a large computer centre, there is not a single computer in sight. There are no phone lines installed and electricity supply is sporadic.
The centre houses two small craft centres, but it is only made use of by a handful of beneficiaries – while the rest of the building remains empty.
The museum section, which is very insightful and of much interest, is locked and inaccessible to the public.
The Boipatong massacre was a significant event in our history. Many people, mostly children, needlessly lost their lives in the slaughter that unfolded on the night 17 June 1992.
The disregard for this memorial is yet another example of how the ANC government in Gauteng feigns concern for residents and communities when the reality is that is they care only for themselves.
MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Faith Mazibuko must explain why this memorial has been neglected and allowed to deteriorate when it should be a monument to the freedom and rights that all South Africans now enjoy.