R45m spent on maintenance of ministerial houses in Pretoria, CT in single year

In the 2017/18 financial year, R45.85m was spent on maintenance for official ministerial residences in Pretoria and Cape Town, according to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Nxesi, in a written response to a question from DA MP Malcolm Figg, said R14.59m was spent on maintenance of ministerial houses in Pretoria in the 2017/18 financial year, and R31.26m for residences in Cape Town. 

In the eight months between April 2018 and December 2018 an additional R7.9m was spent on maintenance in Pretoria, and R14.4m in Cape Town. 

"Maintenance on Pretoria ministerial residences is done through day-to-day maintenance and in Cape Town through a facility management service provider," he added. Based on municipal valuations, the total monetary value of residences in Pretoria is R116.7m while the value of residences in Cape Town is R824.7m.

In his reply, Nxesi also noted that the last time that renovations were conducted at ministerial houses was in the 2015/16 financial year. This included renovations to three houses at a total cost was R9.39m, and mainly included improvements of security measures such as boundary walls, guard huts, the installation of cameras and monitors and electric fences.

In a separate response Nxesi reported that R1.2m in back rent from ministers is still outstanding for their ministerial houses - despite rent for the houses only costing between between R988 and R1 200 per month, 

"The challenge with collecting rental income for ministerial residences is a systemic one," he said in reply a separate question from the DA.

Nxesi said the issue was caused by departments not creating stop orders from ministers and deputy ministers’ monthly income.

"The building up of arrears is largely not through faults of or negligence by the ministers. It would therefore be unfair to name which ministers are in arrears," he said.

For security reasons the department does not publish the location of official ministerial residences. 

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