While the national debate around expropriation without compensation continues, with the deadline for submissions extended to the end of February, government owned land in Nelson Mandela Bay stands vacant.
During a recent Public Works portfolio oversight, 132 out of the 878 land parcels belonging to the Provincial Government in Nelson Mandela Bay were found to be vacant, with no concrete concept plans for usage.
In Algoa Park 15,2 hectares of land stands unutilised, susceptible for invasion, dumping and all other kinds of problems.
Land and buildings are an economic resource and need to be optimally utilised if we are going to create a more prosperous society.
This was just one of the findings from the oversight.
A visit to schools in Nelson Mandela Bay found that the Bhongweni Public Farm School, Bethelsdorp Comprehensive School, and Jubilee Park Primary had all come to a standstill as funding has not been released.
The committee also found that government departments in Nelson Mandela Bay were also in contravention of the approved parking policy, as they were compelled to pay for the usage of parking bays in the buildings that are leased by Public Works.
The committee also found that 73 of the 270 government houses in NMB are illegally occupied, which also included officials of Government who were staying in these houses and were not paying rent.
As a committee we have demanded a progress report on the above identified challenges, which must be presented before the follow up visit in July.
The latest oversight has shown that Government systems are clearly broken and need to be fixed.
The Democratic Alliance believes that government assets are there to serve the people, and it is vital that these assets are maintained and monitored on a regular basis to ensure they are used correctly
Edmund van Vuuren
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