Home South African 43 ministers owe R1.3m in outstanding rent money

43 ministers owe R1.3m in outstanding rent money

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In a long list, the amounts owing to the state varied between R64 272.37 and R144 165.92.

Cape Town – More than 43 current and former ministers owe the state R1.3million in outstanding rental payments for state-subsidised houses. Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille has revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question.

“The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has informed me there are 43 ministers, who are

past and returning members, who

are currently in arrears with their

payments.

“Letters for payment arrangements, with statements, were sent to them. Some have instituted stop order

payment and we are following up on others.

“If arrangements are not made and payments have not been received, the accounts will be handed over to the state attorney for debt collection,” De Lille said in her reply

DA shadow minister of public works, Samantha Graham, had questioned De Lille on the number of ministers in Parliament who were currently in arrears with rental payments on their ministerial houses.

Graham also asked what was being done to collect the outstanding money.

Speaking to the Cape Argus on Wednesday, Graham said it was unacceptable that this was happening.

“I’ve always questioned why these amounts have not been deducted from these ministers’ salaries immediately. The minister had alluded to some plan, but I don’t see that it would be working,” Graham said.

She said she hoped that because De Lille was not a member of the

governing party, she would do something about it.

“We’ll continue to put pressure on the minister to get this money from the ministers owing,” she said.

In a long list attached to the response to Graham, the amounts owing to the state varied between R64 272.37 and R144 165.92.

According to De Lille, the state has forked out about R750m over the fourth and fifth Parliament (between 2009 and 2019) to house MPs at the three parliamentary villages in Cape Town.

De Lille revealed in a written

response to a question from DA MP Willem Faber in October that the

government had spent about R380m on the three villages – Acacia Park, Pelican Park and Laboria Park – in the five years spanning the fourth Parliament, between 2009 and 2014. Since then, for the fifth Parliament, it had spent about R360m.

This included the costs for water and electricity, rates and taxes,

management of the three villages,

construction of new buildings, maintenance and the purchase of furniture and appliances.

The breakdown of the figures revealed that bus transport for

parliamentarians living in the villages in the fifth Parliament cost the state about R36m, and Public Works and Infrastructure staff managing these premises cost the department about R13m in the same period.

@MarvinCharles17

[email protected]

Cape Argus