The Department of Public Works (DPW) gave a follow up to a briefing on the roll out of the Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA), which had been discussed during a meeting of the Committee in January. The provinces in which projects were situated were highlighted, and it was noted that specific departments, mainly the provincial departments of Health and Education, were taking over some public works functions from DPW and would henceforth be responsible for maintenance on some of their own buildings, once the necessary budget allocations had been made. National Treasury and the DPW were interacting on the budget issues. There was an Implementation Technical Committee that was dealing with the relationships, and the Immovable Asset Life Cycle Management plans would incorporate inputs from the various departments, and implement in accordance with guidelines. The Construction Industry Development Board, DPW and National Treasury would be conducting provincial roadshows in April 2011, focusing on the common budget planning cycle, the allocation of budgets, and the submission of asset management plans that incorporated infrastructure plans. It was also proposed that this project should be extended to local government, although this was not included when GIAMA had been passed. Immovable Asset Management guidelines were being implemented at provincial and national departments, where best practices on asset registers were also being promoted. The relationship with the Deeds Office in relation to surveys and vesting of State land had improved, and monthly meetings were now being held. Issues highlighted by the Committee during its oversight, relating to the Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Public Works, were also discussed. The estimated human resources were tabled, the Amnesty Strategy had been approved and the call centre was functional. Provinces had already vested thousands of land parcels.
Members confirmed that the hotline was operating and noted that it might be extended to operate also at weekends. Members discussed the inclusion of local government, noting what had been included when public hearings were held on GIAMA before its adoption. Members asked for a table of all properties to be given, enquired whether the DPW was completely sure about the numbers of properties, and enquired whether underground properties were included. A progress report on issues raised by the President was required. Members also enquired what had been allocated for maintenance, and what the DPW would be doing itself.
Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA): Progress Report: Department of Public Works (DPW)
Mr Ronny Mosalo, Acting Deputy Director General: Property Policy Development, Department of Public Works, tabled the first part of the presentation, which outlined the purpose, the status report of interaction with different stakeholders, including National Treasury (NT), and the proposed government plan for extension of the Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA) to local government. He reminded Members that the issues he was reporting on had previously been raised and discussed by the Committee.
Mr Mosalo said that several matters were raised during a meeting in January. Some of these issues had a direct bearing on the Department of Public Works (DPW or the Department) and some related to smaller public works projects. The provinces where these projects were situated were summarised.
The meeting in January had also highlighted which public works functions had been taken over by other specific departments, and whether the DPW had managed to resolve issues. He then summarised the DPW’s response to the issues raised at that meeting.
Mr Mosalo said that the two main departments who were taking over some public works functions were the Departments of Health and Education, in all of the provinces. They would in future do maintenance on buildings, where they had the budget to do so. DPW was interacting with National Treasury regarding the allocation of the budget in terms of the GIAMA.
In regard to interaction with the various stakeholders, Mr Mosalo said that the GIAMA Implementation Technical Committee had played an integral role in strengthening relationships between the DPW, the National Treasury (NT) and other stakeholders. He said that the Immovable Asset Life Cycle Management would incorporate inputs from the various departments. It would also consider the various guidelines.
Mr Mosalo said that the NT and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), together with DPW, would be holding a provincial road show from April 2011, focusing on giving an outline of the common budget planning cycle, the allocation of budget, and the submission of asset management plans that would incorporate infrastructure plans.
Mr Mosalo noted that it was proposed that the project should be extended to local government. DPW had already engaged with the CIDB so that it could identify all legislation that was affecting local government. DPW was already preparing a project plan for the extension of GIAMA to the local sphere of government.
Ms Sasa Subban, Deputy Director General: Asset Investment Management, DPW, tabled the second part of the presentation. She highlighted some of the matters raised at the January meeting (see attached presentation) and noted that the Immovable Asset Management guidelines had been finalized, and that these were currently being implemented at provincial and national departments. She said that the Asset Register Task Team would promote best practices in regard to asset register issues.
Ms Subban also said that the DPW had improved its working relationship with the Deeds Office regarding the surveying of State land and vesting. The two institutions now met on a monthly basis.
Ms Subban also dealt with the matters that had been raised during the oversight visits by the Committee. She noted that the Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Public Works had made contact with municipalities and that they had also shared the best practice guidelines on immovable asset management. The amnesty strategy would also cover local municipalities.
Ms Subban noted that the DPW was intending to update the existing files with the latest information, and that identified buildings and structures would be linked to underlying land parcels.
Ms Subban tabled the estimated human resources allocation to the Committee (see attached presentation for full details) and highlighted the compilation and function of the Task Team.
She further noted that the Amnesty Strategy had been approved by the Minister, and that the call centre was fully functional as from 01 March 2011. The appointment of call centre operators and investigators was finalised on 28 February 2011. The Task Team would now investigate the cases that had been reported.
Ms Subban then briefly reported on the progress with the vesting plan, noting that provinces had already vested thousands of land parcels. She said that the implementation of GIAMA had reached a critical stage, and highlighted the importance of full commitment from senior management.
The Chairperson said that she had checked on the hot-line for amnesty and artisans, and confirmed that the hot-line was working between 07:30 and 22:00 during week days. She noted that discussions were to be held regarding the extension of the hot-line hours to include weekends.
The Chairperson expressed her concern that municipalities were included when the Act was first tabled in bill form, but that these had been removed during the final stages.
Ms Lydia Bici, Acting Chief Operations Officer, Department of Public Works, said that at the policy stage there had been no public consultation, only a document that the Minister had presented to Cabinet. She agreed that when the legislation was first tabled, it had incorporated all the spheres of government, but by the time the public hearings were held, it had been amended to include only national and provincial government. For this reason, the Portfolio Committee had not discussed local government at the time. The Department had not approached local government and had not consulted with municipalities at that time.
Mr W Doman (DA) sought clarity on whether the presentation was a study of each piece of legislation.
Mr Mosalo said that the Bill that had been finalised by the State Law Advisors in February 2006 had related to the national and provincial levels of government.
Dr C Madlopha (ANC) suggested that the Committee should be given an indication of the number of properties involved.
Mr Mosalo suggested that perhaps a table could be added to the progress report to make it easier for the Committee Members to understand the position.
The Chairperson wanted to know if the DPW was completely sure about the numbers of properties that had been presented in the progress report.
Ms Subban confirmed that the DPW was completely sure about these numbers.
The Chairperson wanted to know if the underground properties had been included.
Ms Subban said that the underground properties had not been included, because they did not appear on the DPW's asset register. The number of properties mentioned during the presentation were those that were to be enhanced with the programme.
The Chairperson asked the DPW for a progress report on the issues that had been raised by the President.
The Chairperson also enquired when the DPW would be tabling its Strategic Plan, as well as what dates had been set for the debate.
Ms Bici noted the dates for the Easter weekend, and also added that the DPW was waiting to be allocated a date for presentation of the Strategic Plan and budget. She said that the DPW would definitely provide the Committee with the requested information as soon as possible.
Mr Doman made reference to the bulleted section of the presentation, which referred to the interaction with stakeholders, and the allocation of the budget across the user department mandate. He sought further clarity on the user department mandate for maintenance. He asked what had been allocated for maintenance, what the DPW expected from the user department and what the DPW would attend to itself.
Mr Mosalo said that during the preparation of a user asset management plan, one of the key areas in the plan focused on the core mandate. At the relevant time, between July and August, the user department, the custodian department and the NT would all discuss and allocate the budget. The three parties would agree that when it came to management, particularly management of immovable assets, this would be the responsibility of the custodian department, and the budget for goods and services would go to the user department.
The meeting was adjourned.
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