The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that the Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (GDID&PM) does not know the status of its immovable assets.
This became apparent when the MEC for GDID&PM, Tasneem Motara, was asked to provide a list of government owned buildings that are vacant.
The list provided is inaccurate and not a true reflection of all the vacant buildings under the custodianship of the department.
During the previous term, the Portfolio Committee came across numerous unmaintained residential and commercial properties owned by the Province in areas such as Randburg, Boskburg, Alberton, Mogale City and Pretoria. Most of these buildings are either vacant or illegally occupied.
Furthermore, one of the buildings the MEC says is vacant is being occupied by residents who live there on the basis of an agreement signed between GDID&PM and the Mayor of Mogale City. One would have thought that the department would be aware of an agreement that it had signed.
It is concerning that an entity responsible for the custodianship of some R43 billion worth of immovable assets does not have a complete and accurate fixed asset database, or the human resources to physically evaluate its assets on an ongoing basis.
This is not surprising however, since the department has no property management function to speak of. This shortcoming results in a situation where the department, besides not having an accurate database, has no view of the financial loss it suffers on an annual basis due to the deterioration of its assets.