Protector calls on property owners to act against industry bad apples

Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela has called on property owners to act in partnership with her office, government and other role players to reign industry’s bad apples that are responsible for maladministration and corruption in property dealings with organs of state.
Speaking at the 44th International Convention and Property Exhibition of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) in Durban on Thursday, the Public Protector said effects of maladministration impact negatively on both the state and the commercial property sector.
The gathering brought together over a thousand delegates from various sections of the commercial property sector and overseas guests from countries such as the United Kingdom, Ghana and Australia.
“I’m particularly encouraged by the content of your dialogue. Tomorrow, Today, suggests you are concerned about the sustainability of the sector and the impact of today’s action on the sector’s future. It is true that the quality of the decisions and actions we take today”, said Adv Madonsela.
The Public Protector identified problem areas in government relating to property within state affairs included, leasing, construction, land acquisition and disposal and privitisation of capital projects.
She further said one of the key problems is looting of state land which really started on the eve of democracy aided by government failure to conduct an audit of state property. This result in corruption that inflates land purchased from white owners for land reform purposes.
Speaking about specific forms of maladministration, the Public Protector said they included corruption and are similar in all areas. They include among others, irregular and non competitive procurement, overpricing and poor quality assurance for shoddy services or goods.
She said a number of complaints included irregular tender processes, overpricing and poor quality service. In regard to poor quality service, she mentioned that the state is often made to pay a fortune for low grade buildings and later made to pay for renovations to transform these buildings into ‘A’ class.
The Public Protector appealed to property owners to provide humanity and not build wealth through looting state resources aimed at improving the quality of people’s lives.
She said that while referring to the situation in Braamfischerville, Soweto, where the she is currently conducting a systemic investigation into allegations of service delivery in the area.
Her remarks were part of a key note address titled ‘The Commercial Property Industry and the State: Jointly Building a Sustainable Future for South Africa” and was delivered after former President FW de Klerk delivered his.
The Public Protector’s address in Durban follows her engagement with the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in Magaliesburg yesterday. The Public Protector was speaking to the members about the mandate, role and functions of her office during the legislature’s Strategic Planning Session.
Issued by
Kgalalelo Masibi
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Public Protector South Africa
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
Published Date: 
Thursday, May 31, 2012