Gauteng government to Auction 31 state owned properties

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Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced on Tuesday that 31 state properties to be sold at auction in October. Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced on Tuesday that 31 state properties to be sold at auction in October.

Gauteng provincial government on Tuesday announced that it will be selling 31 state owned properties at auction in October, including Premier David Makhura's official residence in Bryanston.

The announcement was made by Premier Makhura, while responding to written questions at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

Makhura has not stayed at the official residence‚ despite millions of rand being spent on it during the time of his predecessor‚ now Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokanyane. Makhura announced two years ago that the mansion would be used to host official events‚ while he remained in his own home.

The property was purchased in 2004 for R11.4m‚ but further renovations costing an additional R4m were subsequently made due to what government called "structural defects" to areas such as the swimming pool.

Last year about 50 engagements and meetings were held at the Bryanston house‚ which cost about R1.5m a year to run‚ according to the Democratic Alliance’s Jack Bloom.

Makhura‚ responding to written questions at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature‚ said in March he had made a commitment that the future of the official residence would be considered once the Department of the Infrastructure Development had done an audit of all assets including non-core assets of the Gauteng Provincial Government.

"To this end‚ the asset register and valuation of all government fixed property has now been completed.

"The majority of these properties are occupied by public servants. Thirty-one (31) properties will be disposed at the first online auction to take place towards the end of October 2016‚" he said.

Makhura said he was confident that this decision will not only save the provincial government money from maintenance but it would help raise additional resources to fund the provincial government’s programme of transformation‚ modernisation and re-industrialisation (TMR) priorities such as student bursaries and rollout of Tshepo 500‚000‚ an employment creation and entrepreneurship development programme.

"We will only keep the property portfolio and land assets which add value to serving delivery‚ infrastructure development and our overall agenda TMR".

Bloom commented in a statement that he was awaiting more details about the conferences that were held at the premier’s official residence in the past year.

He said Makhura had assured him that more details about these meetings would be provided to him this week in response to an application he made in March in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

"It was revealed last year that R4.2m was spent on the house since May 2014 when Premier Makhura took the decision not to live there.

"My view is that it is much cheaper to use the province-owned Emoyeni conference centre or a private venue as the annual cost of the Bryanston house works out to about R30‚000 a meeting just as a venue.

"A lot of money could have been saved if the house was sold earlier‚ as it is a white elephant‚" Bloom said.

On the question about installing electricity at the Winnie Mandela Informal Settlement, Makhura said the electrification of informal settlements is a priority programme in all municipalities in Gauteng.

Departments of Human Settlements and COGTA are providing the necessary support by ensuring that the relevant national government departments and State-Owned Enterprises are drawn in.

Makhura said municipalities were responsible for identifying the areas and undertake planning for the electrification programme, adding that where Eskom is responsible for the supply of electricity, the municipality works with Eskom to plan the rollout.


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