Mahlangu wants market related rent for govt property

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Qedani Mahlangu, has called on all tenants of state residential and commercial property currently not paying market related rentals to approach the department’s Corner House Headquarters in Johannesburg.

Mahlangu also called on occupants who are not paying market related rentals and are unhappy about the standard of state residential property they occupy, to seek quotations, quantify and carry out the required improvements.

“Tenants who carry out upgrades to the properties they occupy will be granted a six-month grace period during which they will not be expected to pay market related rentals, in lieu of expenditure on the renovations. Market related rentals will then kick in at the end of the grace period,” Mahlangu said.

She however, emphasised that the scope of the upgrades to state properties must first be approved by the department before any work is carried out.

A team of professionals from the department will monitor the renovations carried out in line with this special dispensation, to ensure that work carried out at state properties is of acceptable quality.

Mahlangu also appealed to occupants who are currently paying market related rentals to continue doing so. She warned occupants of government residential and commercial property who refuse to pay market related rentals that they will be evicted.

She urged occupants to take advantage of the department’s grace period before market related rentals are enforced.

“If people are not amenable to that, we’ll definitely evict them because we are losing rental. You find people in suburbs like Bryanston in Johannesburg, yet expecting to pay R500. That is ridiculous and it’s not going to be tolerated” warned Mahlangu.

She further warned occupants of state commercial and residential property that a strict lease regime is to be enforced to stamp out the practice of occupants who either have no valid lease or pay no rental for the properties from which they trade or reside.

“No one is allowed to stay in property without a valid lease signed with the department, irrespective of who they are,” Mahlangu noted.

The department is currently in the process of getting a service provider to help it finalise its asset register.

“This will go a long way towards enhancing the value realized from the more than 31 000 provincial government properties,” said Mahlangu. –