Public Works clarifies reports on millions set to be spent on building upgrades

The Department of Public Works says only R10 million of an estimated R750 million set aside for the refurbishment of state buildings will go toward the renovation of ministerial homes and forms part of the so-called Prestige Portfolio - the public works division that manages accommodation for the presidency, ministers, deputy ministers and parliamentary property.

The department was responding to news headlines which suggest that Government plans to spend hundreds of millions on houses occupied by ministers.

READ: Outa outraged at plans to spend millions on renovating ministers' houses

Public Works Head of property management trading entity Jacob Maroga joined Gushwell Brooks, standing in for Karima Brown, to clarify the matter.

The details are that, yes there is a portion of ministerial houses in there but it is minuscule.

Jacob Maroga, Head of property management trading entity - Department of public works

I have listened to OUTA's clip in terms of issues of maintenance but if the facts were presented as they understand them then yes the outrage would be justified, but the facts are slightly different.

Jacob Maroga, Head of property management trading entity - Department of public works

Maroga says Public Works manages about 80 000 properties of the state and these vary in terms of their functions.

He says the bulk of the money allocated to the prestige portfolio goes into parliamentary villages in Cape Town where 400 members of parliament are housed, the parliamentary precinct and the Union Building in Pretoria.

We have offices, prisons, courts, residential accommodation of various departments from military, police, parliament, ministers, chief justice. In that portfolio we are allocated money for construction, upgrade, refurbishment and maintenance.

Jacob Maroga, Head of property management trading entity - Department of public works

Refurbishment and renewal are part of a very big narrative and story in terms of how we manage these properties.

Jacob Maroga, Head of property management trading entity - Department of public works

Click on the link below to hear more from Maroga...


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