New shared services building in Beaufort West
A R17 million Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) project to convert the Dan de Villiers Hostel building in Beaufort West into regional offices for the provincial Department of Social Development and Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is complete. The project commenced in April 2016 and was completed a year later.
Internal policies and statutory requirements oblige the Western Cape Government (WCG) to make the best possible use of available resources. Whenever WCG-owned buildings are available to house provincial government departments, DTPW is required to use these buildings rather than renting private office accommodation at commercial rates. Reducing operating expenses in this way enables the WCG to optimise the proportion of resources available for service delivery to the people of the Western Cape.
This newly upgraded and refurbished facility provides healthy working conditions for up to 50 officials. Energy-saving features are part of the building's design. Administrative staff, social workers and sport development coaches are already providing a number of essential services to the people of the Central Karoo from their new offices. These services include: social work assessments, counselling, sport club development, after-school sport programmes, and the promotion of indigenous sporting codes.
Carol Benadie, Social Worker Manager, says that staff members are positive about the move. ”The open-space setup in the office complex improves the interaction between our own staff and those from DCAS. As a result, there is more open dialogue and this contributes to a better working environment than we had in our old offices. We want to emphasise our commitment to serving the Beaufort West community from these new offices,” she said.
The provision of high-quality facilities for provincial departments is an important step towards enhancing service delivery, particularly where the shift can be made from leased to owned accommodation.