MP’s and Ministgers/deputies failed to pay their subsidized rent

 

Houses for MPs set taxpayer back R744m

Cabinet ministers and their deputies, who each earn up to R2.4 m a year and are tasked with driving the government’s user-pay principle, are failing to keep up with relatively cheap rentals for their lavish ministerial homes.   The ministers owe the state a combined R1.3m in outstanding rental payments for state-subsidised houses, according to public works minister Patricia de Lille.  Is it only Ministers and deputies, or Members of Parliament as well?

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Hoekom word hierdie bedrae nie maandeliks afgetrek van elkeen nie – dis tog nie dat hierdie ministers en hul adjunkte of wie ookal geld skuld arm is nie.   Dagvaar hulle aangesien hul reeds daar gebly het.

As die ouditering gedoen is, sou dit gewys het wie is die wanbetalers.   Hoekom is hierdie wanbetalers dan nooit aangespreek soos wanneer daar ouditering gedoen word nie?

Hoeveel ministers en hul adjunkte het luukse wonings wat deur ons belastingbetalers onderhou word en steeds steel hulle geld en betaal nie huur en ander gesubsidieerde bedrae nie.

 

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Previously

Akasiapark was vir jare voor 1994 ook die parlementere dorpie waar parlementariers gebly het, ook onder minimum voorwaardes, maar elkeen werksaam gedurende sessiediens, moes betaal vir hul woning en busdiens en gerief.    Daar was nooit gratis behuising verskaf nie.   More information on the 3 villages.
Laboria Park, Pelikan Park, Acacia Park

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The parliamentary villages house Members of Parliament in Cape Town (and officials) when they attend committee meetings and sittings within the parliamentary precinct during the year.   More background information and legislation also included.
Pelican, Acacia en Laboria park (parliamentary sessions)

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Presenting the medium-term budget policy statement in October, finance minister Tito Mboweni emphasised the need for South Africans to pay for services rendered. The ANC NEC also resolved to embark on a mass campaign to encourage communities to pay for services. However, the government and the ANC’s efforts could be stillborn as the ministers, most of whom are ANC NEC members, are culprits of non-payment themselves.

Cabinet ministers and their deputies, who each earn up to R2.4 m a year and are tasked with driving the government’s user-pay principle, are failing to keep up with relatively cheap rentals for their lavish ministerial homes.

The ministers owe the state a combined R1.3 m in outstanding rental payments for state-subsidised houses, according to public works minister Patricia de Lille.

Presenting the medium-term budget policy statement in October, finance minister Tito Mboweni emphasised the need for South Africans to pay for services rendered. The ANC NEC also resolved to embark on a mass campaign to encourage communities to pay for services. However, the government and the ANC’s efforts could be stillborn as the ministers, most of whom are ANC NEC members, are culprits of non-payment themselves.

“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. He said despite numerous reminders, some departments fail to action the stop orders, leading to escalating debt.

“In the past I have engaged with members of the executive on the debt owed to the department of public works and this was done with relative success. However, the challenge persists. Ministers are always willing to co-operate in terms of paying their monthly rentals. The challenge that we must resolve is a systemic one to ensure that the monthly rentals are collected without fail on an ongoing basis,” Nxesi said then.

The department of public works is also owed R77m in rentals by various entities. De Lille said in a recent written reply that some of the culprits included SA’s biggest fixed-line operator, Telkom, which owes more than R8m in outstanding rental payments.

Another major company, canned-fish brand Lucky Star, owed more than R400,000 in rental fees. The department had spent thousands of rand in legal costs in the 2017/2018 financial year to collect debt.

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/politics/2019-11-19-cabinet-ministers-fail-to-pay-r1200-a-month-subsidised-rentals/

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15 October 2019 – Houses for MPs set taxpayer back R744m

The government has spent a whopping R743.7million over the past 10 years on the three parliamentary villages that house MPs and sessional officials who perform duties in the national legislature.

This amount was revealed by Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille in a written response to a parliamentary question by DA MP Willem Faber, who quizzed government on the costs spent on Acacia, Pelican and Laboria Parks in Cape Town.

Acacia Park has 337 housing units and 155 apartments, Laboria Park 64 units and Pelican Park 108.

The MPs and officials stay at a nominal rent of about R400 or more a month.

They do not pay for municipal rates and services or foot the bill for maintenance as the costs are the sole responsibility of Public Works, which also provides furniture and appliances. In her response, De Lille said the total transport costs for MPs and staff incurred by the government for the three villages totalled R38 m in the fourth term and R35 m in the fifth term. 

The rates and services cost up to R112.6 m in both terms with R27.1 m spent in the fourth term and R85.4 m in the fifth. Full-time officials, who are hired by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to render services at the parks, cost a combined R21 m in both terms.

De Lille said construction of the new access buildings at the three parliamentary villages amounted to R35 m in the fifth Parliament. Maintenance cost of R462.4 m while R37.4 m was spent on purchasing of new furniture and appliances in the last two terms, the minister said.

Asked if she has considered the option of providing each MP with a housing allowance instead of accommodation, De Lille said it was her department’s responsibility to provide accommodation to government departments and MPs.

“Any request for allowances to public office bearers must be made to the Independent Commission for Remuneration of Public Office Bearers,” she said. But Faber yesterday said the costs related to the parliamentary villages were extremely extraordinary.

“There should be a system implemented for MPs to stay in one of the parks or provide them with allowance to rent their own places,” he said. Faber said the government could save millions of rand considering that MPs do not stay at the villages for the whole year.

“MPs come to Parliament on Tuesdays and leave on Thursdays or Fridays if the national legislature was in session and stay away for about two months in a year on recess,” he said.

“There must be a much more economical way for accommodating MPs. They can rent a place in Cape Town. It will come at a much lesser cost to the government.” Farber also highlighted that the parliamentary villages were a cash cow as the government splashed out on renovations, refurbishments and furniture.

He charged that Acacia Park, for instance, could be transferred to the City of Cape Town since it had an operating school, pre-school and sport and recreational facilities.

“It’s a huge piece of land. If you look at it, it can be utilised by the City to provide housing,” he said. But De Lille said: “Acacia Park is currently used by MPs and sessional officials.

https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/houses-for-mps-set-taxpayer-back-r744m-35022144

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More than 43 current and former ministers owe the state R1.3million in outstanding rental payments for state-subsidised houses. Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille has revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question.   “The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has informed me there are 43 ministers, who are past and returning members, who are currently in arrears with their payments.

“Letters for payment arrangements, with statements, were sent to them. Some have instituted stop order payment and we are following up on others.

“If arrangements are not made and payments have not been received, the accounts will be handed over to the state attorney for debt collection,” De Lille said in her reply

DA shadow minister of public works, Samantha Graham, had questioned De Lille on the number of ministers in Parliament who were currently in arrears with rental payments on their ministerial houses.    She also asked what was being done to collect the outstanding money.

“I’ve always questioned why these amounts have not been deducted from these ministers’ salaries immediately. The minister had alluded to some plan, but I don’t see that it would be working,” Graham said.

She said she hoped that because De Lille was not a member of the governing party, she would do something about it.

“We’ll continue to put pressure on the minister to get this money from the ministers owing,” she said.

In a long list attached to the response to Graham, the amounts owing to the state varied between R64 272.37 and R144 165.92.

According to De Lille, the state has forked out about R750 m over the fourth and fifth Parliament (between 2009 and 2019) to house MPs at the three parliamentary villages in Cape Town.

De Lille revealed in a written response to a question from DA MP Willem Faber in October that the government had spent about R380 m on the three villages – Acacia Park, Pelican Park and Laboria Park – in the five years spanning the fourth Parliament, between 2009 and 2014. Since then, for the fifth Parliament, it had spent about R360 m.

This included the costs for water and electricity, rates and taxes, management of the three villages, construction of new buildings, maintenance and the purchase of furniture and appliances.

The breakdown of the figures revealed that bus transport for parliamentarians living in the villages in the fifth Parliament cost the state about R36m, and Public Works and Infrastructure staff managing these premises cost the department about R13m in the same period.

https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/43-ministers-owe-the-state-r13m-in-outstanding-rent-money-37698297?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=baobab&fbclid=IwAR0MNYd-pShuQrvyv9HpRYKTfA5ybsSmsxS83AFUVilJICs_m7_GKoOe_ak

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