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‘Business as usual’ at Saps HQ after Tshwane disconnects from services

The city of Tshwane’s Operation Ya Tima shut down the services of the South African Police (SAPS) administrative headquarters on Tuesday after they owed millions.

The city said the landlord of the Guardhouse building, Mendo Properties, owed it R 5.1 million after failing to pay for services.

Last week, the metro began aggressive and widespread revenue collection following consistent defaults from businesses, government departments, embassies and residents.

The city owes more than R17 billion.

Residential debt currently stands at about R8 billion, corporate debt stands at R4 billion and about R5 billion is owed by government departments, entities and embassies.

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Saps said in a statement on Wednesday that the building is leased on behalf of Saps by Rijkswaterstaat and Infrastructure.

Under the DPWI’s “devolution agreement” with Mendo Properties, the landlords must pay monthly for municipal services. The DPWI then recovers the money from Saps.

“The Saps is therefore not lagging behind the municipal services”.

The city confirmed that the debt had been settled with Saps’ landlords.

Saps’ “Pol TV” building in Centurion allegedly owed the city more than R2 million last week, and their services were immediately shut down. The building houses Saps’ broadcasting and public sector and produces the ‘When duty calls’ program.

Saps confirmed that the service was not in debt, but the services have yet to be restored.

“Not a single service delivery has been compromised in any of its buildings or service points,” Colonel Athlenda Mathe assured.

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Latest ‘victims’

In the course of this week, a number of shopping centers, apartment complexes and government buildings have been systematically closed.

Some have paid their debts promptly, others have refused.

On Tuesday, the city of Tshwane said Gautrain Hatfield owed them $10 million in fees and taxes. Gautrain is said to have last paid the city on March 4, 2020.

On Wednesday, the city said it was “in talks with them to find common ground”.

The Independent Development Trust owed the city R8 million, but soon paid R4.3 million to prevent the disconnection.

The landlord of the South African Revenue Service building also owes the city something, although it is not clear how much.

Blood Mall was shut down after they owed R1.2 million, but they paid off their debt and reconnected the services.

Sinoville Shopping Center was also closed on Tuesday as it was R16 million in arrears.

“No one is spared. If your account is not up to date, Tshwane Ya Tima.”

Curated by Nica Richards.

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