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GOVT EYES HIKING CIVIL SERVANTS’ RENT

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 MBABANE – Government will consider increasing rent for civil servants on its pool of houses.


This is something that might happen as a means to ensure that government houses are maintained and renovated.
This consideration came after Senator Vuka Moi Moi Masilela posed a question to the Minister of Public Service, Christian Ntshangase, during the ministry’s portfolio committee on its debate of the first quarter performance report for the year 2019/2020.


Currently, there are 1 096 government houses that the ministry is responsible for allocating. The confirmation was made by the minister. 
Masilela had queried why government housing rentals were so low, especially since there was need to maintain and renovate them. The senator made an example that some civil servants were charged E100 for a three-bedroom house with a servants’ quarter and a garage.  Masilela raised that the ministry should consider increasing the rentals.


Responding, Ntshangase said the review of government rentals required consultations and consideration of a number of factors among which was affordability, quality of the structures and the review of the housing allowance.


However, he mentioned that the suggestion would be noted and would be interrogated further with the relevant structures.
On the other hand, Masilela further questioned what the ministry was doing to investigate those alleged to own government houses as well as determine how many government houses were there.
The senator made a suggestion to the effect that the ministry should reconsider the proposed selling of government houses, stating that he was in support of this idea.


In his response, the minister articulated that the sale of the government houses was a matter which was being handled by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
In the same breath, Senate President Lindiwe Dlamini asked if the ministry considered alleviating the high rates paid for leased houses as per the performance report. She pointed out that the ministry should regard diverting this budget to assist employees in constructing their own homes.


The minister highlighted that government was taking into account the most cost-effective approach in assisting its employees with housing.
Senator Princess Ntfombiyenkhosi advised the ministry to establish a proper inventory of government houses to ensure that no individuals claimed unlawful ownership. She further warned against the selling of these government houses.


Ntshangase noted and appreciated the advice. He stipulated that the Ministry of Public Works and Transport was the one responsible for keeping the inventory of the government houses.

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