Dept 'needs' empty R3.6m/month building

2011-08-23 22:39

Johannesburg - The justice department needed extra office space due to "structural growth", Minister Jeff Radebe said on Tuesday, explaining why it was leasing an empty building.

In addition, it was given notice by one of its landlords.

Earlier this month, Radebe replied to a parliamentary question confirming his department was leasing an empty building in Pretoria for R3.6m a month.

Rental was paid from January 2010, but the building would only be occupied from November this year, apparently because it was still being modified to suit the new tenants.

Radebe said in a statement it was necessary to seek alternative accommodation for "structural growth" and "the need to accommodate staff in an environment that must promote productivity and efficiency".

Accommodation problems could affect the department's ability to effectively discharge its mandate.

The Pretoria sections of the state attorney's and master of the high court's offices required new premises, and were currently accommodated in leased buildings.

The state attorney's office had been given notice as its lease period had expired and the building, Manaka Heights, had been bought by a new landlord.

The master of the high court's office was currently in the Sanlam Forum Building.

This was also a leased building and several complaints had been received regarding its general maintenance. In addition, that office required more space than was available in its present location.

Additional accommodation was also required for the department's national office because of more staff.

"This is reflected by the fact that the department is currently occupying three different buildings in Pretoria that make up the national office," Radebe said.

These three buildings could not accommodate the department's growth, hence the need for another building.

The national office included the ministry, the director-general, the chief operations officer and all deputy directors-general.

These sections would move to the new building, he said.

- SAPA

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