The government is sitting on a portfolio of vacant properties worth an estimated value of R7.4 billion spread across the country
The Department of Public Works has revealed it owns a staggering R7.4 Billion worth of empty properties around the country.
Thulas Nxesi, the minister of the department, has cited that the reason for the empty properties is that the residencies were no longer required by clients of the department, a lack of a demand for these specific properties and a lack of funds for the department to rebuild, renovate or develop the property.
The minister went on to say that his department had commissioned maintenance on properties that are in use according to the availability of funding. There was apparently no budget for repairs on the empty properties.
The minister had also explained that the department’s planned maintenance budget was about R2 billion annually.
Nxesi said that the department owned a total of 9653 land parcels across all provinces which remain empty.
He also revealed that ministers owed around R1.2 million in rental for their ministerial homes. The rental for such homes ranged from R988.90 and R1200.82, a small amount for a minister, surely.
Nxesi revealed that the rental backlog was a systematic flaw where the amounts were meant to be deducted from the relevant persons salary via stop order, but somewhere something had gone wrong.
“The challenge with collecting rental income for ministerial residences is a systemic one. Once ministerial residences have been allocated, the department of public works submits the documents indicating the amounts payable monthly to the client departments, whose responsibility it is to action the stop orders from ministers and deputy ministers’ monthly income,” Nxesi said.
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