DA seeks clarity on three year rental of empty building

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The DA in Mpumalanga will request our counterparts in the National Assembly to submit questions to public works minister Thulas Nxesi over the R3,2 million in monthly rent paid for an unoccupied building in Nelspruit.

The building in question was rented in 2010 to accommodate the logistics department of the provincial police. However, despite signing the lease three years ago, the SAPS logistics personnel have been working in cramped conditions because they have been unable to move into the new premises.

The logistics department was initially meant to work from the new provincial SAPS headquarters in Nelspruit, but a space shortage resulted in DOPW renting out nearby premises for R88 000 a month to accommodate personnel. However, although the new offices are fully furnished and ready for occupation, they are yet to be used.

This situation is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and amounts to fruitless and wasteful expenditure. We believe the minister must explain why the SAPS have not been allowed to move into the premises, and why the department has spent R3,2 million on an unoccupied building.

Furthermore, this situation has an adverse effect on the war against crime. To deliver quality service all the departments of the SAPS need to have quality working conditions – something which the DOPW is incomprehensibly impeding in this given situation.

Government is not only obliged to spend public funds responsibly, but also to ensure public safety, something which DOPW has failed to do in this situation. In view of this, we will request DA shadow minister public works, Anchen Dreyer, to question minister Nxesi on the matter, and ask him to urgently intervene so as to ensure that the move takes place as soon as possible.