Hon House Chairperson, the Portfolio Committee on Public Works undertook an oversight visit to Gauteng from 26 to 30
August 2019. The aim was to gather first-hand knowledge of workspaces and functioning of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Property Management Trading Entity, PMTE, and each entity that reports to the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure. The entities are the Agrment South Africa, ASA, the Independent Development Trust, IDT, the Council for the Built Environment, CBE, and the Construction Industry Development Board, CIDB.
As a custodian of vast immovable assets, there is substantial opportunity to generate income and the PMTE would be responsible for this aspect of the Public Works function of government. However, this aspect has lagged behind for many years due to the incompleteness of the Government Immovable Asset Register that is managed by the department as regulator and a custodian department.
There are some concerns that the ACDP has after the oversight visit: Firstly, the Telkom Towers had been unused for several years. The SA Police Service, SAPS, have been without a head office for the last six years and the building has been lying empty; secondly, the Department of Public Works has to date spent Rl,6 billion over the last six years on the building and it is still unoccupied by the SAPS, and in the meanwhile as indicated by my previous colleague,
some R400 000 - R500 000 per month is being spent just to keep the building secure - something is not right.
The review of the White Paper dated 1997 entitled "Public Works Towards the 21st Century" remains incomplete since the 5th Parliamentary term.
Thirdly, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure did not complete the review of the White Paper dated 1999 called "Creating and Enabling Environment for Reconstruction, Growth and Development within the Construction Industry". The committee and the ACDP agree with the concerns found that there were too many acting positions in key leadership positions within Public Works. These employees would be better suited to be in the Department of Arts as acting employees.
The ACDP accepts this report and calls upon the Minister and her department to fast-track the necessary policy changes and recommendations found in the report to ensure that we are able to contribute to an inclusive economy and do our bit to contribute towards nation-building. I thank you. [Applause.]