Mmegi Online :: MIHD must ensure govít property is registered
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Friday 19 October 2018, 15:27 pm.
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MIHD must ensure govít property is registered

The Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development (MIHD) Dikagiso Mokotedi has admitted that there is no register of Government-owned buildings, and that many of them are in need of maintenance.
By Mmegi Editor Tue 06 Jun 2017, 16:55 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: MIHD must ensure govít property is registered








The fact that there is no register of Government buildings is a shocking and embarrassing statement that should not come from a ministry mandated with providing office accommodation for the Government, as well as residential accommodation for civil servants at the request of such ministries.

It is therefore important for the relevant ministries to keep their own registers, which should then be passed to the MIHD officials to be in a good position to be answerable to oversight institutions such as the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee. This will also enable the ministry to conduct its independent assessment and monitoring of some structures in the event that there is laziness in beneficiary ministries.

There is a serious shortage of accommodation for civil servants who are often transferred to other places where they have to fend for themselves looking for accommodation when there are a couple of unoccupied houses that have been idle for several years. In some instances, there are houses that were built by the Botswana Housing Corporation that have not been occupied for more than four years on grounds that they have been earmarked for acquisition by Government ministries, but the parties have not been able to reach an agreement on the pricing.

The most affected civil servants are the police, nurses, and others who are often forced to share houses even when

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there is an idle house next door, the only problem being lack of maintenance of such a house. Sharing has been identified as a major source of conflict among workmates and this has a potential to impact on their productivity.

Mokotedi stated that the absence of a register makes it difficult for maintenance works to be carried out on many of these buildings. The fact is that Government ends up renting office space from private developers for which it pays millions of pula when such funds could have been spent on other pressing matters such as construction of much-needed public health institutions and schools in rural areas where locals are forced to walk long distances to access such.

We hope that the minister and his lieutenants will come up with an initiative to ensure that there is a register for all Government buildings, which most of them are in need of maintenance, to address the issue of shortage of accommodation. This will also curb corruption where some departments have rented buildings from private developers yet they own buildings that they left because they are dilapidated and in an inhabitable state.

Today’s thought

“We need, first of all, for there to be accountability, for there to be somebody who is responsible for enforcing standards and holding people’s feet to the fire.”

- Jennifer Granholm

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