The three parliamentary villages is not low class buildings, its upkeep and transport have cost South Africa almost three quarters of a billion rand over the two previous parliamentary terms. In a reply to a written Parliamentary question on Monday, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille revealed that the total cost incurred by the government for the three parliamentary villages during the terms of the Fourth and Fifth Parliaments – from 2009 to 2019 – is R743 788 400.04. 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.
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
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.
MP’s and Ministgers/deputies failed to pay their subsidized rent
The costs in De Lille’s reply includes bus transport, water and electricity, rates and taxes, village management, construction of new buildings, maintenance of buildings, purchasing of new furniture and appliances, and any other expenses.
The question was asked by DA MP Willem Faber, who also wanted to know whether De Lille has considered providing each MP with a housing allowance instead of accommodation.
“The responsibility of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is to provide accommodation to Government Departments and Members of Parliament, amongst others, in terms of its mandate. Any request for allowances to public office bearers must be made to the Independent Commission for Remuneration of Public Office Bearers,” read De Lille’s response.
According to the reply, the total cost incurred by the government for all three parliamentary villages – Acacia Park, Pelican Park and Laboria Park – for transport was R38 570 345 for the Fourth Parliament (2009 – 2014) and R35 997 143 for the Fifth (2014 – 2019).
The total cost in terms of the municipal services and rates of the three parliamentary villages during the Fourth Parliament were as follows:
Laboria Park: R7 875 171.81
Pelican Park: R6 470 925.33
Acacia Park: R12 836 995.19
For the Fifth Parliament, it was:
Laboria Park: R12 185 225.49
Pelican Park: R22 328 442.08
Acacia Park: R50 959 085.40
Employment of officials
“The parliamentary villages are managed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure through officials who are employed full-time and render the required services,” read De Lille’s reply.
For the Fourth Parliament, the cost relating to the employment of the officials amounted to R8 053 472.75 and for the Fifth Parliament, it was R13 102 467.25
New access buildings
During the Fifth Parliament’s term, the building of new access buildings at the three parliamentary villages amounted to R35 550 947.07.
The maintenance of the buildings took the largest chunk over the 10 years.
For the Fourth Parliament, De Lille provided the figure of R300 000 000, and for the Fifth, the three villages combined cost R162 454 497.67.
New furniture and appliances
During the Fourth Parliament’s term, the government spent R6 422 237 on new furniture and appliances, while this figure was almost five times more for the Fifth Parliament, which amounted to R30 981 445.
In another question, Faber asked De Lille “whether her department intends transferring the village to the City of Cape Town for housing development purposes since it already has an operating school, pre-school and sport and recreation facilities”.
“Acacia Park is currently used by members of Parliament and Sessional officials,” De Lille answered.
Houses and facilities
During the Fifth Parliament, Acacia Park housed 226 Members of Parliament, 259 Sessional Officials, one departmental official performing standby duties, four assistants to MPs and two parliament staff members.
Laboria Park housed 56 MPs, six sessional officials and two departmental official performing standby duties.
Pelican Park housed 71 MPs, 35 sessional officials and one departmental official.
Acacia Park has 337 housing units, 155 apartments and facility buildings comprising a primary school, crèche, soccer/rugby field, three recreational halls, tennis court, swimming pool and a gym facility.
Laboria Park has 64 housing units and facility buildings comprising a recreational hall with a gym facility, tennis court and swimming pool.
Pelican Park has 107 housing units and a facility building comprising a recreational hall with a gym facility, tennis court and swimming pool.
MORE QUESTIONS DURING 2018
Ryder, Mr D to ask the Minister of Public Works
(1)With regard to Acacia Park, Pelican Park and Laboria Parliamentary Villages,
(a) what are the criteria used for qualifying and being allocated a housing unit in each village and
(b) what number of housing units are (i) available, (ii) currently occupied by Members of Parliament, (iii) occupied by bona fide parliamentary employees who qualify and have been allocated a housing unit, (iv) occupied by persons who do not qualify to stay in the villages and (v) currently vacant;
(2) (a) when last was an audit done on all persons having access to each park and (b) what were the findings of the audit?
(1) (a) The Parliamentary Villages in Cape Town accommodate Members of Parliament, Party Officials and Sessional Officials. Each Political Party represented in Parliament is allocated housing units for their designated Members in proportion to the number of seats the Parties hold in Parliament. Sessional Officials are Government employees who have been designated as such by the Heads of Departments for purposes of performing Parliamentary duties during Parliamentary sessions.
(b) (i) There are 493 housing units at Acacia Park, 65 at Laboria Park and 108 at Pelican Park.
(ii) 224 housing units are occupied by Members of Parliament at Acacia Park, 55 at Laboria Park and 63 at Pelican Park.
(iii) In terms of the information at our disposal, there are 2 officials designated by Political Parties as aides to Members of Parliament. Our records indicate that there is no Parliamentary employee occupying a housing unit at the Parliamentary villages.
(iv) There are 3 housing units that have been identified to be occupied by persons who are not the registered occupants of those housing units.
(v) There are 50 vacant housing units at Acacia Park, 2 units at Laboria Park and 11 at Pelican Park.
(2) (a) The auditing of persons accessing the Parliamentary villages has yet to be done. What has been done however is an audit of the occupancy of the housing units at each Parliamentary village.
(b) The audit was done partially. The results will be made available once the audit has been done completely.
* * * *
- To brief the Ad hoc Committee on Public Works regarding the intervention strategies at the parliamentary villages
- Audit (illegal occupants in all parks
- Security at Acacia park
- Facilities management
- Long-term plans
- Role of stakeholders
- Other matters
Audit (illegal occupants)
- From 12 April 2004 to 18 April 2004 discrepancies have been identified
- Relating to extended families of Members of Parliament and Sessional Officials, etc.
- Eviction notices have been issued to dependants that do not appear on the list from Parliament, and
- To persons residing in domestic rooms not entitled to accommodation
- Acacia park has 529 units and 96 rooms for domestics
- Pelican park has 108 units and 10 rooms for domestics
- Laboria park s 65 dwellings and 10 rooms for domestics
- New perimeter fence and upgrading of security lights (Acacia Park)
- Installation of razor wire on top of perimeter fence (Acacia Park)
- Installation of burglar bars commence 15 June 2004 (Acacia Park)
- WSP/Sidibene Facilities Management Company appointed
- Maintenance in all three Parliamentary Villages, Parliamentary Precinct and Ministerial houses.
- The service includes planned and unplanned maintenance, gardening and emergency repairs.
- A condition survey has been completed
- Annual building maintenance plan covering all the Parliamentary Villages has been completed.
LONG-TERM PLANS WITH THE PARKS
- The Department will investigate various options regarding the long term plans of the Parks such as:
- Upgrading of sub-standard units/blocks
- Consolidating the three Parks into one
- Relocating the Parks closer to Parliament
ROLE OF STAKEHOLDERS
- Monitor implementation of crime prevention recommendations
- Regular reporting to Board
- Reintroduce crime statistics reports
- Enforce Park rules and report non-compliance
- Re-establish functional residents committees
- Compliance with general park rules
- Implement security measures
- Activate alarms
- Notify SAPS when vacating premises for a long time
PARLIAMENTARY VILLAGES BOARD
- Constituted in terms of the Parliamentary Villages Act
- Not representative of all stakeholders e.g. SAPS, Parliament
- Need to review its mandate to it more teeth
- Board needs to be reconstituted
- Deposit to cover damages
- Response time
- Limit the number of tenants per unit
- Eviction of illegal tenants
- Enforcing rules e.g. tenants, searches, animals
To provide for the establishment, functions and funds of the Parliamentary
Villages Management Board; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Funds of Board
4. (1) The funds of the Board shall consist of—
(a) money appropriated by Parliament;
(b) money received under section 3; and
(c) any other money payable to and received by the Board. 20
(2) The Board shall keep in the form approved by the Treasury with the concurrence of the Auditor-General, a full and correct account of all money received and expended by the Board, which shall annually be audited by the Auditor-General.
(3) The financial year of the Board shall end on 30 June of each year.
(4) Any surplus in the funds of the Board at the end of any financial year shall be 25
utilised by the Board in such manner as the Board may determine with the concurrence of the Minister and the Minister of Finance.
WETSONTWERP OP DIE BESTUURSRAAD VIR PARLEMENTERE DORPE