By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Member of the Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office and Legislature:
A total of R4.2 million has been spent on the official residence of the Gauteng premier since May last year, even though the premier no longer lives there.
This is revealed by Infrastructure Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
The house in Bryanston in north Johannesburg was refurbished for R2.47 million which included converting a mini-golf course into parking, fixing the leaking roof, replacing all external door locks, and repairs to the electrical system, plumbing, paintwork and furniture.
Other expenses were as follows:
- Plumbing – R448 000;
- Gardening – R309 000;
- Cleaning – R300 000;
- Electrical – R216 246; and
- Refurbishment of pool- R30 805
Furthermore, R227 000 was spent on water and light and R195 000 on rates and taxes.
This house was bought in March 2004 for R11.5 million for the use of then-Premier Mbhazima Shilowa. Since then, more than R20 million has been spent on its upkeep, including many refurbishments and repairs.
R8.4 million was spent when Shilowa was premier for renovations and alterations of the main house, conference facilities and the parking area.
Although he never lived there, R1 745 000 was spent during Paul Mashatile’s short premiership supposedly to repair structural damage
In 2009 and 2010, when Premier Nomvula Mokonyane lived there, a total of R2 704 500 was spent on refurbishment of the main bedroom and en-suite bath room, as well as the kitchen, laundry, dressing room closet, curtains and bedding, and furniture.
According to MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, the Office of the Premier has “utilized the property for official business engagements with national and international guests.”
This is a poor justification for keeping this house and continuing to spent an exorbitant amount on it.
The Provincial government already has the Emoyeni conference centre and there are lots of private facilities that can be used for any other requirements.
This house is a white elephant that should be sold as soon as possible. I suspect it is being retained because connected people are making money out of its running costs and never-ending repairs and maintenance.
How many more times does it need to be renovated?
Premier Makhura claims he is cutting unnecessary costs. He should sell this house which no longer serves any useful purpose but just chews more and more money.