Johannesburg - The National Treasury is concerned that R3bn
a year spent on leasing properties for state departments Is too high,
according to a report on Wednesday.
Treasury deputy director general for public finance Andrew
Donaldson told Parliament's appropriations committee on Tuesday that state
spending on leases had grown rapidly, Business Day reported.
"That is a trend we would like to reverse. We would
like a situation where we are spending more on investment and maintenance of
government accommodation. We want to see this balance improved," he said.
Treasury had set up a team to try to reduce the leasing
The department of public works manages the leases.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Public Works Minister
Thulas Nxesi had agreed "to undertake a joint review of the validity and
cost effectiveness of all government property leases", Donaldson
Spending would be even higher than R3bn if leases for
provincial departments were included.
The department of public works haS come under fire for its
handling of various leases. This included lease deals for new police
headquarters in Pretoria and Durban worth R1.6bn.
Following a report by the Public Protector in October last
year which found the leases were unlawful and that they amounted to
maladministration, President Jacob Zuma suspended national police commissioner
Bheki Cele and dismissed public works minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde.