Ex-MPs to pay rent, or move house

2014-07-04 00:00

THIRTEEN former MPs who overstayed their welcome by not vacating homes in parliamentary villages have been billed to pay rent.

The Department of Public Works is claiming a total of R30 000 in unpaid rentals after the 13 MPs stayed beyond the June 7 deadline.

“The Department gave permission to some of them to stay on, but did not waiver their obligation to pay for the market-related rent for the accommodation,” the department said.

The MPs who did not make it back to Parliament were given a new deadline of June 29, but by yesterday, a number of them had still not vacated. Despite this, the department said it had now finally completed the process of accommodating all new MPs at the villages.

The new MPs were sworn into Parliament on May 21.

For the past weeks since the formation of the fifth Parliament, many new MPs have stayed in upmarket hotels such as the Protea Fire and Ice as their homes in the villages were not ready. Hotel rates were in line with Treasury guidelines, the department said in a statement.

The one exception is former MP Cecil Burgess, who has been granted an extension of three months by Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi. He will be charged a market-related rental.

Burgess was referred to as an “illegal squatter” at Acacia Park in Goodwood by DA parliamentary chairperson ­Annchen Dreyer last week. “He is officially overstaying his welcome,” Dreyer said.

The department has warned that interest will be charged if debts are not settled by July 7. The amount includes rental arrears of R12 000 dating back to earlier this year.

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