NSSA properties in sorry state: AG

Source: NSSA properties in sorry state: AG | The Herald June 28, 2017

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) is failing to manage its properties and some are now home to monkeys, the Auditor-General has revealed.

In her latest audit on State enterprises and parastatals, Mrs Mildred Chiri said some of the properties were dilapidated. The properties include Ekusileni Medical Centre (Bulawayo), National Blankets (Bulawayo), Woodlands Apartments and Number 8 Helens Drive in Harare.

“The building previously occupied by National Blankets was in a dilapidated state and in need of refurbishment to be usable. I also noted that there was no security manning the premises thereby making the building easily accessible to individuals who were vandalising the property,” said Mrs Chiri.

“The property had been placed under the management of a property management agent. Property 8 Helens Drive was also in a dilapidated state. Some of the roofing sheets were blown off by the wind. As a result, the tenant’s machinery was affected. The laminated factory furnaces were submerged in water. The building is now home to monkeys.”

Mrs Chiri said NSSA was losing potential revenue and was suffering financial loss as a result of the state of its properties. She recommended that management should continuously monitor all its properties and consider refurbishing them to an income generating state.

Ekusileni was supposed to be a joint venture with other parties. The partners were supposed to operate the state-of-the-art hospital when it was completed.

Mrs Chiri said the partners failed to raise the required finances. NSSA ended up building the hospital alone and owns it 100 percent. In their response to the AG, management at NSSA said it conducted a road-show and invited doctors to tour the hospital. This was done for the doctors to have an appreciation of the facility and assist in operationalising it.

It built the Woodlands apartments to house doctors. NSSA management said it intends to lease the apartments on short term basis. The building, which housed National Blankets, was a debt recovery pledged as security to NSSA and management told the AG that there were no takers for the property. The property along Helens Drive was also a debt recovery.

NSSA management pledged to take care of the building. NSSA was constituted and established in terms of the NSSA Act of 1989 (Chapter 17:04) and is a statutory corporate body tasked by the Government to provide social security.

It administers pensions and other benefits schemes as well as the Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme. The parastatal has been under the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

These include unwise investment decisions and corruption, which have cost the authority millions of dollars.