Public Works loses millions in rentals

Posted On Friday, 15 August 2014 08:38 Published by
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Eastern Cape Roads and Public Works Department lose millions in the past two decades over the non-payment of rentals at 25 government-owned houses across the province.

Thandiswa Marawu

In the Amathole District the department has lost R93000 a year, or R1.86-million since 1994, as tenants are not paying rent in 12 government houses they have been occupying for the past 20 years.

This was revealed by Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu in a written response to a parliamentary query lodged by DA MPL Edmund van Vuuren. Marawu also revealed that since the beginning of this month, the government has taken steps to evict defaulters and recoup the unpaid rentals. Van Vuuren could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In her written response, Marawu says the 25 houses which the department has been able to identify are located in the Chris Hani, Amathole, Alfred Nzo and the OR Tambo districts. According to Marawu's report, there are six state-owned houses in the Chris Hani District which have been occupied illegally and that the government is losing more than R49300 per year in rentals, or just more than R987000 over the past 20 years.

In OR Tambo there are five state- owned houses occupied illegally and two in the Alfred Nzo district, resulting in the department losing more than R366700 in rent in the past two decades. Marawu said in many of the houses, tenants invaded them illegally, were not paying rent and some did not even have lease agreements in place.

She said over the past few months the government had issued notices to the occupants, instructing them to vacate the properties. Department spokesman Sisanda George said the houses were inherited by the current government from the Ciskei and Transkei homelands.

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