The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) is spending R3 110 031,04 monthly on security companies to safeguard 344 abandoned buildings. Instead of wasting millions of rands to safeguard empty buildings, these buildings could have been used as shelters for homeless people in dire need of accommodation.
The government could also partner with the private sector and convert these buildings into low-income housing to ensure access to dignified housing.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development, Lebogang Maile, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
According to MEC Maile, GPG owns 3808 buildings, of which 344 have been abandoned and are being safeguarded, while the majority have been illegally invaded.
For far too long, the DA has been calling on the GPG to repurpose and reopen the abandoned buildings to benefit the residents, such as the Old Library Building and the Old Kempton Park Hospital. However, the DA’s proposals have fallen on deaf ears. The longer these GPG buildings remain illegally invaded, they are prone to severe vandalism, posing a safety risk to the illegal invaders.
The DA retaliates its call for GPG to stop wasting money on safeguarding these buildings; instead, they should be fixed and repurposed. Next year, when the DA governs Gauteng, we will conduct a forensic investigation into the state of all these buildings and repurpose them.
We will also involve different stakeholders, including the private sector, to invest in these buildings for the benefit of the Gauteng residents.