DPWI exploring strategies to improve the management of assets

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Sihle Zikalala, says his department is exploring various strategies to improve the management of its assets .

Zikalala said the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) manages an extensive property portfolio of 28 683 registered and unregistered land parcels on which about 77 537 improvements (buildings and structures) are located across 52 client departments countrywide .

Addressing the Western Cape Property Sector engagement in Cape Town on Thursday, Zikalala said at present, the immovable asset portfolio under the custodianship of the DPWI comprises approximately 30 000 land parcels or 4 .

7 million hectares of land on which roughly 90 000 facilities (equivalent to 33 .

9 million m² of floor space) are located .

The DPWI is a custodian of the Government Immovable Asset Management Act, 2007 (GIAMA) which provides a regulatory framework of basic principles in terms of which national and provincial departments must manage the immovable assets that they control in executing their mandates .

“We can have a revitalised, attractive state owned property where there is optimal utilisation of state owned buildings, curbing of illegal occupation of buildings, reduced reliance on private leases while promoting longer term lease arrangements that will contribute to property upgrades, and improve energy efficiency .

Zikalala said in collaboration with industry, the department has an opportunity to put state owned properties into good use to create value, generate income to support the ailing economy, provide sustainable employment, and drive transformation .

“To effectively deliver on our legislative mandate as the real estate agent of the state, we seek to leverage on available expertise, resources, and innovation within the property sector for the benefit of users of the accommodation space .

“We have seen, for an example, how [a] lack of maintenance results in dilapidated buildings and invites social ills such as crime and environmental degradation which in turn affects business; improper surroundings fail to attract investments .

“We only have one country and it is in our hands to work together for the common good .

The ‘us and them’ paradigm only creates tensions and misunderstanding and as a result all parties suffer in the process,” the Minister said .

Zikalala said many parts of South Africa lose economic opportunities as a result of the failure to maintain and commercialise state buildings .

“Failure to adopt proactive asset management strategies in the public sector and lack of maintenance of existing buildings speed up their deterioration process .

“As you would know, several government buildings are old and some are more than 100 years old, and the number of vacant buildings is growing .

Such vacancy increases the costs of maintaining and upkeep of these buildings without a return on investment,” Zikalala said .

DPWI’s focus is on public land and building assets and infrastructure and the way in which they can be utilised to stimulate and sustain economic growth in the built environment .


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