DA KZN: Phongolo Agric office closed again due to unpaid rental

Francois Rodgers, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Agriculture

THE DA has been reliably informed that the Phongolo Department of Agriculture office is to be locked and chained by the property’s landlord, for the second time in less than two months, after KZN’s Public Works department reneged on its earlier promise to settle an outstanding rental bill of almost R100 000.

At the beginning of September, the DA first raised the issue of non-payment with KZN Agriculture MEC Cyril Xaba, calling on him to engage with his counterpart MEC Ravi Pillay of Public Works, who is ultimately responsible for rental payments for provincial leases.

The DA is in possession of correspondence from senior officials within both departments indicating that payment would be effected within days.  This after the landlord agreed to allow access to the building again.

Clearly payment has not been forthcoming. This begs the question – does the KZN Provincial Government have a cash flow problem or is it just incompetent?  Perhaps the provincial operation of “sikhokha ngesikhathi – we pay on time” should be renamed “sikhokha uma singakwazi – we pay when we can!

Such bungling and arrogance by MEC’s and senior departmental officials must not go unchallenged.  I will today write to MEC Pillay and request an explanation for the ongoing non payment of this particular rental.  I will further request a detailed list of leases signed by KZN’s Public Works department with creditor statements to establish payment trends.