Cele denies SAPS owes Dept of Public Works R24 million

Cele on Wednesday addressed the media during an oversight visit in Pietermaritzburg.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN - Police Minister Bheki Cele has disputed a figure given by Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille as the amount owed by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to her department.

Cele on Wednesday addressed the media during an oversight visit in Pietermaritzburg.

In response to a question by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Michele Clark, De Lille revealed last week that the police owe the public works department R24 million.

Cele has not taken kindly to De Lille's public revelation, arguing it is not correct and that she should have spoken to him first before making a public statement on the matter.

De Lille said R24 million owed to her department by the police excluded other services rendered such as refuse, sanitation and property rates.

But Cele said De Lille was not stating facts.

He has instead accused the Department of Public Works of providing shoddy service.

“I don’t give the concurrence to the figure; I have spoken to finance and they [also] did not give that. Even things that they are supposed to do as Public Works like fixing our buildings, building our police stations, they are not doing that. I will sit down and speak with her.”

Cele has, however, admitted that police are under-resourced, saying this was negatively affecting policing.

The minister said over 2,000 police vehicles were out of service and were waiting for repairs or replacement in Gauteng alone.

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