Govt bid to pay less office rent

2013-03-13 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal government is to carry out a R9 million study to gauge the feasibility of building a government office park that will house the headquarters of provincial departments, KZN Finance MEC Ina Cronjé said yesterday.

The study comes amid the “massive” amounts paid by the provincial departments to lease offices from private developers.

Cronjé said the study was motivated by overcrowding in the current rented offices.

“A number of departments are seriously overcrowded. It is not fair to expect staff to perform optimally,” she said.

Cronjé also said the undisclosed money spent on renting office accommodation was proving to be too costly.

“Most of the offices belong to private people … These private individuals up the prices and we end up paying dearly.”

She also said the office rentals in Pietermaritzburg were proving not to be an investment after all to the KZN government.

“When you pay rent, the money is gone. You are not investing,” she said.

“That money that is spent on office accommodation is quite massive,” said Cronjé at a press conference after delivering her budget speech.

She could not, however, give exact figures.

According to acting senior general manager for financial management Hermann Conradie, the feasibility study would be completed within two months, and thereafter a decision would be taken on whether to go ahead with building the mooted office park or not.

He added that the feasibility study was also motivated by requests from individual departments asking for funding to build their own offices. “Part of the exercise is not to have ad hoc buildings,” Conradie said.

Local developers were unfazed, saying the demand for office space was so high that it would not be a case of government deserting the centre of town. There were still district and regional offices to accommodate, they said.

The feasibility study would not be the first undertaken by the provincial government into offices in Pietermaritzburg.

A few years ago, the KZN Legislature did a similar exercise for a parliamentary precinct at its own cost and the Treasury did another for the provincial administration.

Provincial Treasury head of department, Simiso Magagula, said the previous studies had been frozen by the cabinet because of lack of funds. Magagula said the new study was basically to revive and take from where the shelved studies left off.

CEO of Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, Melanie Veness, said: “The development is positive. There is a shortage of office space.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.