The Pretoria Showgrounds, located in the CBD, is set to undergo refurbishment operations beginning next month. The decision to refurbish the grounds comes in response to an oversight visit by EFF public representatives, who criticized the deteriorating state of the showgrounds. The EFF’s Tshwane leader, Obakeng Ramabodu, described the condition of the grounds as a “criminal act” and urged the metro to appoint a special committee to address the issue. Ramabodu also raised concerns about the metro hiring private security companies to guard the facility while it suffered from vandalism and neglect.
In response, metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba explained that the metro’s plans involved transforming the showgrounds into a mixed-use commercial hub. However, land preparation and contractor appointments must precede this transformation. The metro has been in talks with various stakeholders interested in leasing part of the land, including the IEC for the upcoming national elections. Refurbishment efforts are scheduled to commence in the coming month, with plans for a hotel, conferencing services, retail stores, and small offices as part of the additions. The metro council approved short-term leases for the land in 2022 to keep the asset operational while rezoning and consolidation processes are underway. Once rezoning is complete, developers will be contracted to conceptualise a vision for the precinct.
The showgrounds had previously been occupied by the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG), led by self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, and had also served as a location for the IEC during elections. Concerns have been raised about its suitability as a voting venue for the upcoming elections.
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Photo: Supplied by Citizen