Ulundi ministerial houses to go under the hammer

2013-05-20 00:00

THE former ministerial houses in ­Ulundi are set to go under the hammer as part of the disposal of assets in the KZN Public Works Department.

Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay said nine houses the department could no longer maintain would be sold at an auction soon.

“We don’t want to be a landlord collecting rent,” he said in an interview on Friday, adding that the properties would be auctioned to the highest bidder.

He made the comments after briefing the public works portfolio committee on Friday.

Pillay said it was proving too costly to keep up the ministerial houses.

“It would cost to maintain them and pay rates. It does not make sense to keep them when there is no future plan for them.”

The provincial government was also paying for the security at the unoccupied houses to prevent vandalism, he added.

The houses were built by the then KwaZulu government and were allocated to MECs after the transition to democracy, when the provincial capital was still based in the town.

But, when the Inkatha Freedom Party lost the province to the ANC, the seat of power was moved to Pietermaritzburg and the ministerial houses were left unoccupied.

The planned sale comes months after it was reported that the ministerial houses were among the properties that cost the taxpayer thousands every year to maintain.

Earlier, Pillay told the committee that he was not in favour of an aggressive disposal policy.

He also said there was a need for the provincial government to do “land banking”, even if it meant buying vacant land to be kept for future use.

• mayibongwe.maqhina


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