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DPWI Aims to Enhance Asset Management and Stimulate Economic Growth

CAPE TOWN – Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala has announced that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) is actively developing strategies to improve the management of its extensive asset portfolio.

According to South African Government News Agency, who addressed the Western Cape Property Sector engagement in Cape Town on Thursday, the DPWI is responsible for managing a significant property portfolio. This includes approximately 30,000 land parcels or 4.7 million hectares of land, hosting around 90,000 facilities, equivalent to 33.9 million m² of floor space. These assets are spread across 52 client departments nationwide, encompassing both registered and unregistered land parcels.

The DPWI, as the custodian of the Government Immovable Asset Management Act, 2007 (GIAMA), adheres to a regulatory framework outlining basic principles for national and provincial departments to manage immovable assets. Zikalala emphasized the potential for state-owned properties to be revitalized and utilized more effectively. Strategies include optimizing the use of state-owned buildings, curtailing illegal occupation, reducing reliance on private leases, and promoting longer-term lease arrangements to encourage property upgrades and improve energy efficiency.

The minister highlighted the department’s intention to collaborate with the property sector to leverage available expertise, resources, and innovation. This collaboration aims to create value, generate income, support the economy, provide sustainable employment, and drive transformation through effective use of state-owned properties.

Zikalala pointed out the consequences of inadequate maintenance, which can lead to dilapidation, social ills, and environmental degradation, ultimately impacting business investment and economic opportunities. He stressed the importance of proactive asset management, noting that the neglect of government buildings, some over a century old, accelerates their deterioration and increases maintenance costs without yielding returns.

The DPWI’s focus on public land, building assets, and infrastructure aims to use these resources to stimulate and sustain economic growth in the built environment. The minister called for a collaborative effort to improve the country’s condition, emphasizing that overcoming the ‘us and them’ paradigm is crucial for mutual benefit and national progress.