Property owners welcome probe into DPW irregular expenditure

Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA

The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) has welcomed the announcement by Public Works Minister, Thulas Nxesi, that there will be a thorough investigation into irregular expenditure by the Department of Public Works (DPW).

Yesterday (29 September) Minister Nxesi announced the department had uncovered R34.9 billion of irregular expenditure, some of which goes back as far as 2001. Some R1.1 billion of this is being investigated for fraud and corruption.

Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA, comments: “The commercial property sector welcomes Ministers Nxesi’s promise that each and every instance of irregular expenditure will be fully investigated. We will assist these investigations in any way we can, and stand ready to support the department to meet their goal of wrapping up these investigations during its current financial year.”

SAPOA is the voice of the South Africa’s commercial property sector, which makes a significant contribution to the country’s economy. Its members control about 90% of all commercial property, with assets estimated at more than R400 billion in value. Many commercial property owners have leases in place with government departments, through the DPW, and thus are affected by the department’s level of effective functioning and ethical conduct.

Gopal adds that SAPOA supports the minister in his assurances that fraud, corruption and maladministration have no place in the DPW.

“The commercial property sector will continue to put its weight behind reporting and weeding out unlawful activity identified in our dealings with the department, and support the department’s anti-fraud and corruption initiatives. Moreover, we will impose our own zero tolerance stance to complicity or collusion in illegal activity from any party in the commercial property sector.”