If you arrived at Mayville Lecture Hall on the 13th of December 2016 and found officials wearing Father Christmas hats without you being informed that it was a usual Property Management Monthly Meeting, surely you would have thought it was Christmas function. The meeting which was attended by Regional Directors for the Midlands, eThekwini and Southern Regions respectively coincided with the birthday celebration of the Chief Director, Mrs Sindi Linda during the month of December.
Chief Director: Property Management, Mrs Sindi Linda (above) celebrating her birthday and (below) she is surrounded by her team in celebrating her big day.
In her opening remarks, the Chief Director expressed her appreciation to Property Management officials for their dedication which has resulted in a number of achievements despite challenges in the 2016/17 Financial year. She highlighted achievements under Immovable Asset Register which accounts for immovable assets valued at R15 Billion managed by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works on behalf of the Provincial Government. Mrs Linda told the gathering she was pleased to report that the assets in question have recently been audited with no adverse findings by the Auditor General.
The Chief Director also reported that the Department has successfully completed the analysis and the verification in terms of the project aimed at transferring immovable assets from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to the Department of Public Works Asset Register.
Some of the achievements she alluded to also include the approval of the 3-5 years Disposal Plan in line with the Disposal Strategy dealing with the disposal of redundant government properties for the government’s radical economic transformation agenda. In terms of this disposal plan, properties will be disposed of through public bidding; other spheres of government; donation to State Owned Entities, Non-Governmental Organisations and through Land Claims administered by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
The Department realised the need to optimally utilise disused state owned buildings to ensure value for money. Over the last 3 years the department has achieved the following: 31 vacant buildings have been reallocated to other Provincial Users for refurbishment into office accommodation; 37 vacant buildings have been leased out to NGO’s, private sector, religious organisations, other spheres of government; 2 have been disposed of to National Public Works Department and the EThekwini Municipality. All remaining vacant buildings have security on site despite some being reallocated to other Users to ensure that there is no vandalism. The refurbishment of these buildings has a huge impact of the Provincial fiscus over the medium to longer term
For the 2016/17 financial year, Facilities Management has been assessing the condition of 250 schools at iLembe, uMzinyathi, Harry Gwala, and uMkhanyakude Districts with a view of determining maintenance requirements. This unit has also secured 18 unutilised/vacant state properties to prevent them from being vandalised and being illegally occupied. Facilities Management is also responsible for the clearance of state property sites through Izandla Ziyagezana Programme which has already created more than 500 work opportunities.
The Department approved the Leasing Strategy aimed at addressing transformation. In terms of Property leases, the Department currently has 194 leases in place for the Sector (Client) Departments. In order to reduce costs related to leases and also to take services closer to the communities, the Department is planning to facilitate development of more office parks (precincts) in the near future. The immediate need for offices is at Ugu, uMkhanyakude, and Harry Gwala District Municipalities. Currently, the Department is engaging with National Department of Public Works to also participate in this process to ensure the success of this project and maximise the utilization of assets in the Province irrespective of whether it is National or Provincial.