Ministry defends rentals

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WINDHOEK – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) did not go against government regulations as an article titled, “Agri upgrades rented office (spends N$ 750 000)” in a local daily alleged.

The Minister of Agriculture, Water, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, has responded to the article saying when the MAWF was allocated the offices at Channel Life Tower, the Ministry of Works and Transport was informed in writing that the MAWF had obtained authorization from the landlord (Joseph & Snyman) to carry out renovations of offices on the 3rd and 4th floors (at Channel Life Tower). No objection was received from the Ministry of Works and Transport.

“Furthermore, the landlord (Joseph & Snyman) indicated that when the new lease agreement is to be entered into, the refurbishment costs of N$749,999.50 should be considered in the said agreement. In June last year (2012), the landlord (Joseph & Snyman) confirmed in writing that they would consider a new lease agreement for three years, where the refurbishment costs are paid for by the owners of the building.

“In terms of Cabinet decision No. (22nd/11.12.07/006) the responsibility of maintenance of government buildings and related infrastructure should be decentralized to Offices/Ministry/Agencies and the respective Directorates of General Services are designated to carry out these obligations.

“Before the expiry of the lease agreement at the end of September this year, on 16 July 2013, MAWF wrote a letter to the Ministry of Works and Transport under the subject, ‘Expiry of lease agreement: Joseph and Snyman erf no. r/263 3rd and 4th floor measuring approximately 485.24 m2 situated in Channel Life Tower, Windhoek for the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry,’ stating that MAWF is still in need to occupy the premises and that the lease agreement should be extended for a further period of twelve (12) months with an option to renew at expiry of the said period,” Mutorwa explained.

By Deon Schlechter

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