The South Africa’s Department Of Public Work (DPW) under SA government spends millions of rands on the rates and taxes of about 2,000 empty and underutilized buildings of which not lesser than 200 were listed to be at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.
This revelation was made following the parliamentry’s to the Democratic Alliance (DA) where it explained that the DPW ‘s minister Thulas Nxesi said that the department had under its custody, 95,587 buildings and 31,310 pieces of land.
Of the buildings, 1,939 are either unused or unoccupied – and of the land, 13,043 pieces are unused or unoccupied and the DA noted that the GPS co-ordinates of at least 200 of these buildings points to the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.
However, in it’s reply to the DA’s assertion, the parliament noted that Nxesi said advance invoices are sent to 26 national government departments for rent, amounting to R324.5 million a month, or around R3 billion a year.
The minister added that on average, R3.9-million a month was paid for municipal rates and taxes on unused buildings, while a further R1 million is spent on municipal services.
It could be recalled that late last year, the country’s national and provincial departments and public entities had an irregular expenditure of R25.7 billion
The report by the Auditor General Kimi Makwetu, covered a total of 468 auditees, 167 national and provincial departments and 301 public entities with a total budget of R1.1 trillion for the year under review.
The report also found that there was a decrease in fruitless and wasteful expenditure since 2013-14’s figure of R1.2 billion, down to R936 million
Of the R936 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure for 2014-15, R32 million was actually incurred by preventing further fruitless and wasteful expenditure, or losses.
Meanwhile, the SA government has alerted the public on the fraudulent individuals who advertise non-existent jobs and learning opportunities at the Department of Correctional Services on various social media platforms.
The fraudsters apparently request administrative fees of R150 or more for securing jobs at the department.
The National Commissioner of Correctional Services Zach Modise said applying for jobs in Correctional Services and in the public sector is free, and anyone asking for money is breaking the law.
“We would therefore wish to warn members of the public and job seekers to be vigilant against falling prey to these scams.
“They should immediately report such incidents to the human resources unit of the department at 012 305 2000, to assist with the current investigations, or report the matter to the government anti-corruption hotline 0800 701 701,” said Modise.
He however explained that all vacancies or learnership opportunities would be advertised using mainstream media, the SA government’s Department of Public Services Administration (DPSA) website, as well as the internal email notices.