Tshwane Ya Tima: SAPS says it is a tenant at its headquarters and not responsible for bills

City of Tshwane has announced that utilities have been restored to the headquarters of the South African Police Service (SAPS) after the landlord settled a bill of R5 million. Picture: City of Tshwane/Twitter

City of Tshwane has announced that utilities have been restored to the headquarters of the South African Police Service (SAPS) after the landlord settled a bill of R5 million. Picture: City of Tshwane/Twitter

Published Feb 16, 2022

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Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Wednesday said services are continuing as normal “and it is business as usual” at its administrative headquarters, the Wachthuis building in Pretoria CBD, despite the previously announced discontinuation of municipal service due to massive debt.

SAPS made the remarks amid a social media frenzy after the City of Tshwane announced on Twitter on Tuesday that it had switched off the police headquarters due to R5 million debt. Tshwane has unleashed an ongoing Tswane ya tima (Tshwane switches off) campaign aggressively targeting defaulters and switching off their water and electricity.

On Wednesday, Tshwane announced that services had been restored to the SAPS Wachthuis building after the landlord paid the full amount, exceeding R5 million.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe explained that the police service is a tenant in the building and the municipal bills are paid by the landlords.

“It was initially reported that utility services had been disconnected by the City of Tshwane following reports of non-payment of such services. The SAPS can confirm that the Wachthuis building is leased by the national department of public works and infrastructure (DPWI) for use by the police service,” she said.

The DPWI settles the rental payment on a monthly basis to the landlords, in accordance with the lease agreement.

“The landlords have a responsibility to pay for municipal services, on a monthly basis. DPWI then recoups such monies from the SAPS as per the devolution agreement.

“The SAPS is, therefore, not in arrears with municipal services,” said Mathe.

A week ago the City of Tshwane posted on its social media platforms that municipal services to another building used by the SAPS in Centurion had been disconnected.

The Centurion building houses the SAPS broadcast and public section which produces the police programme "When Duty Calls".

“Here too, the SAPS can confirm that the service is not in debt in this regard. While services are yet to be restored at this building, the matter is receiving urgent attention and measures have been put in place to ensure that the work of the section is not affected.

“The SAPS thus takes this opportunity to assure the nation that no service delivery has been affected at all its buildings and or service points,” Mathe said.

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