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Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille says her department has set aside more than R260 million for the repairs and maintenance of court buildings across the country.

Moreover, the Minister said she will ensure that service providers are paid what is due to them on time.

Addressing media in Tshwane on Tuesday after meeting with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the department’s officials, De Lille said she is concerned about the sluggish payment of service providers.

Last week, De Lille launched a full-scale investigation into the department’s failure to pay some of its service providers within 30 days. Several reasons, including processes being done outside of Supply Chain Management, issues with verification and certification of work done, as well as late submissions of quotations, have been given for these delays.

Turning her attention to infrastructure, De Lille lamented the state of government buildings, especially the ones that are used as courts, saying this impacts negatively on the justice system.

The Chief Justice welcomed the commitment from Public Works and Infrastructure to look after the buildings, saying the state of court buildings affected the administration of justice.

He said some of the buildings are not suitable to be used as courts.

Mogoeng said going forward, senior Public Works officials must avail themselves for meetings to discuss building maintenance.

“The justice system is highly compromised by the poor maintenance of buildings. Power outages affect court cases. It is time that we buy and own these buildings,” the Chief Justice said.

The Public Works Minister and her deputy are expected to meet with 200 regional court heads, 15 district heads and 11 regional managers from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

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