File image: IOL

PARLIAMENT - The costs to house the SA Police Service headquarters in a new building has escalated from R650 million to R1.6 billion, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille said on Wednesday.

Speaking during a media briefing ahead of her budget vote in Parliament, De Lille said she met with Police Minister Bheki Cele this week over concerns that police management was still occupying old buildings "which have been condemned" four years after the department, through the Development Bank of South Africa, purchased Telkom Towers in Pretoria, consisting of 10 buildings.

"The cost up to now has escalated to R1.6bn and the police are still not inside the building. Over and above that, police are providing private security to guard these buildings at a cost [of] 400 to 500 thousand rand per month," the minister said.

De Lille said she and Cele agreed all public works and police staff involved in the project will be withdrawn and an outside service provider will be appointed to take over the project. 

"The good news is that a contractor is currently on-site, came on-site in April 2019 and the projected time of construction in April 2020."

African News Agency (ANA)