State prop­erty and ve­hi­cles tar­geted to cut costs

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - BALD­WIN ND­ABA

THE GAUT­ENG premier’s of­fi­cial mul­ti­mil­lion-rand res­i­dence in Bryanston, Sand­ton, is likely to go on sale, while politi­cians will be barred from driv­ing cars worth more than R1 mil­lion.

Gaut­eng Premier David Makhura said this yes­ter­day when re­act­ing to the DA’s ac­cu­sa­tions that he had ap­proved R2.1m to con­vert his of­fi­cial res­i­dence into a “con­fer­ence cen­tre”.

The DA’s Jack Bloom wanted to know when Makhura’s ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil took a decision to use the house for “of­fi­cial business gov­ern­ment en­gage­ment”.

Bloom asked: “What fea­si­bil­ity study was done on the need and vi­a­bil­ity of con­vert­ing and us­ing his house for ‘of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment business en­gage­ment’?

“If so, on what date were the find­ings made known, and if no fea­si­bil­ity study was done, on what ba­sis was a decision to do build­ing al­ter­ations taken within such a short time?”

Makhura dis­missed claims in a Sun­day pa­per that formed the ba­sis of Bloom’s ques­tions.

He con­firmed that work was done on the house, but said it was rou­tine main­te­nance.

His ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil had agreed to use the house for gov­ern­ment business be­cause he pre­ferred to live in his pri­vate home.

The premier said he had made his in­ten­tion clear dur­ing his first provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil meet­ing on May 28.

“I also em­pha­sised that the ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil will need to make time to have a de­tailed dis­cus­sion on cost-cut­ting mea­sures that will save the gov­ern­ment money. The ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil sub­se­quently held de­tailed dis­cus­sions on cost­con­tain­ment and cost-cut­ting mea­sures across the en­tire provin­cial gov­ern­ment and its agen­cies.

“Fur­ther mea­sures are be­ing un­der­taken to en­sure that we cut gov­ern­ment wastage and re­di­rect re­sources to fund the pri­or­i­ties con­tained in our pro­gramme for rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion, mod­erni­sa­tion and rein­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of Gaut­eng,” Makhura said.

He said the gov­ern­ment was au­dit­ing all state prop­erty port­fo­lios to as­sess whether it de­rived value from them.

Makhura was quick to point out that the of­fi­cial res­i­dence was also un­der­go­ing the au­dit.

He said gov­ern­ment prop­erty, in­clud­ing his res­i­dence, could be put on sale, de­pend­ing on the au­dit out­come.

“The ul­ti­mate fate of the of­fi­cial res­i­dence will be con­sid­ered as part of this re­view of the prop­erty port­fo­lio of the Gaut­eng provin­cial gov­ern­ment. We will not be rushed to take an un­in­formed decision.”

Makhura said cost cut­ting would also af­fect the choice of ve­hi­cles for of­fi­cial use by gov­ern­ment ex­ec­u­tives and se­nior of­fi­cials.

GAUT­ENG Premier David Makhura has ap­pointed un­suit­able peo­ple in his ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil, while Sport, Arts, Cul­ture and Recre­ation MEC Mole­batsi Bopape uses mil­lions of tax­pay­ers’ money to at­tend “in­ter­na­tional mu­sic fes­ti­vals”.

Th­ese al­le­ga­tions against sev­eral of Makhura’s MECs are con­tained in the Gaut­eng DA’s an­nual score­card.

Dur­ing a me­dia con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, DA cau­cus leader John Moodey sin­gled out Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and Bopape, say­ing they were not de­serv­ing of hold­ing such po­si­tions.

The DA scored the two MECs 2 out of 10 each.

Moodey ex­plained Mahlangu’s low rat­ing thus: “MEC Mahlangu’s first mis­take was to vest all health cap­i­tal projects in the In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment – a depart­ment she ren­dered dys­func­tional as its for­mer MEC – and it has not im­proved since.

“The Health Depart­ment needs strong lead­er­ship and sta­bil­ity, but depart­ment head Hugh Gos­nell left for rea­sons that are still un­ex­plained. “Fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment is still poor, with late pay­ments to sup­pli­ers and con­tin­u­ing large ac­cru­als,” Moodey pointed out.

Mahlangu also came un­der at­tack for the long list of lit­i­ga­tion cases against her de­part- ment amount­ing to mil­lions of rand.

The DA also ac­cused her of fail­ing to an­swer leg­is­la­ture ques­tions on time – ac­cord­ing to Moodey, the “worst be­ing 64 days late”.

It was not only Mahlangu who was ac­cused of fail­ing to an­swer ques­tions – vir­tu­ally all the ANC MECs, as well as Makhura, were painted with the same brush.

Makhura scored 7/10, but was also ac­cused of re­ply­ing to leg­is­la­ture ques­tions late, his “worst be­ing 51 days late”.

DA spokesman on sports and cul­ture Paul Willem­burg said Bopape had set aside R6.3m for in­ter­na­tional trips this year alone.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.