The department of public works has a portfolio of vacant properties with an estimated value at R7.4bn across the country. The reasons for the vacancies, public works minister Thulas Nxesi said in written reply to a parliamentary question by DA MP Malcolm Figg, were that residential properties were no longer required by clients of the department; a lack of demand for the utilisation of specific properties either by government or the private sector; and a lack of funds by the department to rebuild, refurbish or develop the property for utilisation. The department’s property portfolio consists of more than 90,000 immovable assets. In reply to a question by National Council of Provinces member Edwin Makue of the ANC, Nxesi said the department was in the process of rolling out its disposal framework, which would drive the process of letting out state-owned properties to the private sector. “This will assist in the reduction of vacant, unsecured and unguarded state-owned properties, there...

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