Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Pretoria – July 5, 2024 – South Africa’s Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Dean Macpherson, has announced a significant policy shift, confirming that there will be no new procurement of offices or accommodation for the seventh administration. This decision aims to manage the country’s tight fiscal position and respond to public demands for prudent use of government resources.

Macpherson, who was recently appointed to the position, stated that all housing and office allocations for executives and Members of Parliament will be made from existing state properties. He emphasized that no new requests for procurement will be entertained, and there will be no spending on new furniture for current properties.

“As the Department responsible for the accommodation of the Executive and Members of Parliament, we will house all members from the available properties of the State. We will not rent or lease any accommodation or office space. Those days are over,” Macpherson declared.

He reassured that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has confirmed there is sufficient stock to meet the needs of both the Executive and Members of Parliament without additional expenditures.

The minister highlighted the importance of this decision, citing the country’s economic challenges and the need to be cautious with public funds. “We have listened to the message of the citizens about being prudent with the public purse and cut down on perks and invest more in creating jobs and growing the economy,” Macpherson said.

He underscored that his primary focus will be on investing in infrastructure to stimulate economic growth and job creation.

This move follows revelations from February last year, when the Democratic Alliance (DA) disclosed that African National Congress (ANC) Ministers and Deputy Ministers occupy properties in Cape Town and Pretoria worth R967 million. The information, released after a parliamentary question to the then Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, detailed that 97 properties are occupied by ANC Ministers and Deputy Ministers, with 26 Ministers and 32 Deputy Ministers living in state-owned residences in Cape Town and 14 Ministers and 25 Deputy Ministers in Pretoria.

The DA’s report valued the properties in Cape Town at R830 million and those in Pretoria at R137 million, spotlighting the significant investment in housing for government officials.

Macpherson’s decision marks a stark shift in policy, reflecting a commitment to fiscal responsibility and addressing public concerns about government spending. The impact of this policy change will be closely monitored as the government navigates its fiscal challenges and strives to meet the needs of its officials within existing resources.

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