Media Statement by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, on the relocation of the Office of the Premier from Transnet Building to DSC Office Park

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3 August 2023

Programme Director
MEC for Youth, Women, Children, Persons with Disabilities, Communications and E-government, Ms Venus Blennies
Director General, Mr Justice Bekekbeke
Members of the media

Ladies and gentlemen


Allow me before I start with our official statement just to reflect on the death of illegal miners in the Namakwa District of the Province. We have noted with deep concern reports by SAPS into the death of thirteen males at the Tweepad Mining area near Kleinsee. Preliminary reports indicate that the deceased were trapped underground when the tunnels collapsed. We wish to extend our condolences to the families and friends of the deceased. We also wish to caution against illegal mining activities which are a serious challenge in our country and pose a big threat to the safety and security of the surrounding communities as well as to the illegal miners themselves. As Government, we will continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to address this challenge.


The pedigree of the Sixth Administration to cut wastages and frills should by now be beyond question. Since we assumed office, we have committed to this agenda and despite Covid-19, the Provincial Administration is financially in a much better position for three consecutive financial years we closed the exchequer account with a positive bank balance of more than R200 million due to cuts in operational expenditures and there is also a significant improvement in audit outcomes of Departments; having completely migrated out of Disclaimers and Adverse findings. The move to the new office is in keeping with that commitment.

The Office of the Premier is currently in the process of relocating from the Transnet Building to the DSC Office Park located at 69 Memorial Road, Monument Heights. Of importance to note is that the Transnet Building was officially opened in 1964 and will soon be celebrating its 60th year in operation due to elements of nature and wear and tear the building requires intensive attention and renovation.

The OTP moved into the Transnet Office Building in 2008 and the contract expired in 2014; because of some disputes on the contractual terms a short-term nine months transitional contract was concluded between the Department of Roads and Public Works (acting on behalf of the Office of the Premier) and Transnet and that contract expired in May 2015. Since June 2015, the Office of the Premier has been occupying the Transnet building without any contract but continued to date with the payment of a rental amount of R1 082 702. 75. For every monthly rental paid, Transnet recorded a shortfall amount. This amount was due to annual escalation costs of 6.5% that Transnet billed us. Since 2015 the Office of the Premier refused to pay the 6.5% escalation costs which brought the current monthly rental at Transnet Building to R1 621 538. The refusal to pay the escalation costs was due to the failure by Transnet to do maintenance of the building, literally, the building was rapidly deteriorating.

In terms of the contractual arrangement, Transnet is responsible for the maintenance of the building but due to this failure, the Office of the Premier spent more than R4 million in maintaining the building.

Since 2008 we have paid a total of R132 million to Transnet and there is an amount of R64 million which Transnet recorded as arrears due to our refusal to pay the 6.5% annual escalations. This refusal was not driven by any form of malice but by the failures of Transnet to maintain the building. The failure to maintain the building exposed the Office of the Premier to quite several embarrassing moments as a result of the deterioration of office amenities.

These matters were consistently raised with Transnet Management since 2015. After not getting a positive response from Transnet they were elevated to both the Premier and the Minister. We can report that three meetings took place between the Premier and the former Minister of Transport, Mr. Fikile Mbalula,  to discuss amongst others the state of the building and the fast-escalating rental cost. The Premier appealed to the Minister for his intervention in an amicable resolution of the matter. There were no positive outcomes to these engagements. The issues raised with the Minister are the defects highlighted in the 2021 report of Consulting Engineers and Valuators (SAMEX Consulting) who were commissioned by the Department of Roads and Public Works to assess the state of the Transnet Building. Briefly, the report highlights the following key issues

  • The asking price by Transnet was above the valuation of the building.
  • The inspection of the building revealed many defects including amongst others defective amenities, lifts constantly being out of order, electricity problems and chief amongst all the mentioned defects is that the building was not fire compliant which is a huge risk to the safety of employees and a threat to the assets of Government housed in the building.
  • The Transnet Building has since the initial interventions by the Office of the Premier in 2015 deteriorated to such an extent that it became not only impractical to continue occupying that space but also posed major health and occupational safety concerns. The constant failure of amenities, loss of electricity due to cable theft as well as the non-availability of backup electricity all impacted the optimal performance of staff.   Some of the other concerns and defects worth noting are the constant breakdown of the lifts, ablution facilities that are continuously out of order leading to serious health hazards, the parking that is not sufficient and safe for the employees as 90% of the staff used to park in the streets, air conditioners that are always malfunctioning and theft of air conditioners.

The report also highlights that should Provincial Government have acquired the building in 2021, it would have costed Government an additional Forty-Two Million Rand to ensure that it is compliant with building and safety standards.

As a result of complaints by the employees in the Office of the Premier, the Department of Labour conducted an assessment in 2020 of the health and safety conditions of the Transnet Building. The report highlighted that the building was non-compliant with quite many health and safety requirements due to poor maintenance. Some of the issues are the non-functioning of the security system, the ablution facilities, elevators, and the fire detection system.

Because of all these challenges, in 2021, the Premier requested the Minister of Transport and Transnet Management to donate the building in its defective state to the Provincial Government and would then justifiably spend the Forty-Two Million on repairs and renovations to make the building compliant with health and safety standards and regulations.

This request was rejected and instead, Transnet made a counter-proposal for the purchase of the building for Sixty Eight Million Rand. Added to this, were the estimated repair costs of Forty-Two million Rand (R 42m), and on top of that an amount of Sixty Four Million Rand Transnet claimed as arrears on rental and utilities. All-inclusive, the cost of bringing the building to an acceptable health and safety condition through ownership by the Provincial Government would have cost Hundred and Seventy-Four Million (purchase price, arrears, and maintenance). This is an amount that the Provincial Government does not have. It is important to note that we are still making that call to Transnet to donate the building to the Provincial Government for us to renovate it and use it to address our unending requirements for office space.

We firmly believe that this relocation enables us to resolve the stalemate between the Provincial Government and Transnet and also provides a safe and conducive work environment for our employees in the most cost-effective manner. The expected monthly rental at Transnet Building for 2023 is R1 621 539.00 as opposed to the current rental of R1 384 614. 00. The Transnet amount excludes rates and taxes. At the Transnet Building, the Provincial Government was responsible for rates and taxes, which averaged about R135 000 per month, and this took the monthly rental to R1 734 956.00. At the new DSC Building, the owner is responsible for rates and taxes. So moving to the new offices will save the Provincial Government about R350 000 per month.

We wish to express our gratitude to the team at the Department of Roads and Public Works for the manner in which they handled the matter by securing much lesser rates per square meter than the previous occupants.

We want to put it on record that there were no direct engagements between the owner of the DSC Office Park and the Office of the Premier for the lease of the new building. As per the report received from the Department of Roads and Public Works, the Department identified a total of three properties from the register of landlords that could accommodate the staff of the Office of the Premier. Upon inspection, it was discovered that only the DSC Office block was the most suitable, safe, and affordable accommodation. After all legal prescripts were followed, approval was granted to the Office of the Premier to occupy the new premises. 

Relocating to the new offices is by no means a deviation from the mandate by the Office of the Premier of serving and improving the lives of the people of this Province. I and the entire staff remain committed to the vision that has been set for this Province and to continue to serve the people of the Northern Cape. The OTP welcomes all members of the public and interested parties to visit us at our new office space, which is situated at 69 Memorial Road, DSC Office Block, Monument Heights, Kimberley.

Released by the Office of the Premier

Northern Cape Office of the Premier
Physical address of Head Office
T&I Building
69 Memorial Road
Monuments Heights
Private Bag x5016

Contact Telephone Numbers
053 030 0600

Email Addresses


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