MEC to act on R1m a month building

KWAZULU-NATAL health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has vowed to close down the offices rented by his department in a building allegedly owned by "very prominent people".

The building was rented despite the department having enough office space at their headquarters in the same town.

The department is allegedly renting the building for up to R1million a month and the contract runs for 10 years.

The issue of the rented building surfaced last year when opposition parties complained that the department was wasting taxpayers' money by renting offices at Trison Towers in Pietermaritzburg.

The building is allegedly owned by former prominent senior government officials.

Opposition parties said the renting of the offices was unnecessary since the department had more than enough office space at their two buildings in Chapel Street, and Natalia Building, which is their headquarters, to accommodate the staff based in Trison Towers.

Dhlomo said he was surprised when he joined the department to discover that the department was renting a building at a very substantial amounty while the department had more than enough space to accommodate everyone.

"I have appointed someone to handle this on my behalf.

"There are legal implications involved because as tenants we have a binding contract.

"We have to get through the legal processes involved," Dhlomo said.