Public Works property arm under scrutiny

The DA wants the Public Works property management arm put under administration.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi. Picture: Theo Nkonki/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday the Department of Public Works's property management arm should be put under administration.

Auditor-General Terence Nombembe has given the property management trading entity a disclaimer, saying he can't find enough audit evidence on which to base an opinion.

It's a serious indictment of the financial management at the entity, which is responsible for managing government accommodation.

DA Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Public Works, Anchen Dreyer, said it was time for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to step in.

"Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi has also shown that he is not capable of providing efficient or strong enough leadership to turn this entity around."

Dreyer said the department's dysfunction is having an adverse effect on other state departments.

She cited the Newcastle police, who were evicted from their building because the rent went wasn't paid as a case in point.

"Their non-performance impacts negatively on other department's performing their core function."

The property management trading entity has reported R2.6 billion irregular spending and over a quarter of a billion in fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

But the Auditor-General couldn't find the paper trail to back this up.