Trucks owner: ‘We’ll be back’

2011-09-21 00:00

ALTHOUGH the controversial United Truck Centre in Ashburton will soon close its doors, the owners are intent on re-establishing the business in the same location one day.

Speaking to The Witness after the auctioning of several trucks and equipment on the site, I.R. Moosa of United Truck Centre said the company plans to apply to have the 11 000 square-metre property rezoned and that it will follow the “proper municipal” channels.

United Truck Centre was compelled to close down by October 31 in terms of a high court order granted to the Msunduzi Municipality last month.

A recent report by The Witness said the owner, Ayoob Moosa, was ordered by the court to demolish and remove all illegal (temporary and permanent) structures on the property by the deadline.

Moosa said the auction, which took place last Thursday, resulted in a loss of between R6 million and R12 million.

He said, “Almost 200 trucks and machinery were sold at under 50% of the price we paid for them.

“There is no doubt about it, we took a major financial knock.

“We had to sell off the trucks and machinery, although we did not have a very good turnout at the auction. It was a short-notice auction.

“We did not have another place to relocate the trucks and machinery to, so we were forced to sell.”

He said that although the company has received a R1,9 million offer for the property, it plans to hold on to the land because it has a reserve price of R4,5 million.

A defiant Moosa argued that United Truck Centre was unfairly targeted because other people in and around the area operate businesses on properties that are not zoned for the purpose.

Moosa said, “We still believe that the municipality did not follow the proper procedure when they shut us down.”

He believes that there is a future for the business in this location because it falls within the economic corridor belt identified by the municipality’s spatial development framework.

kavith@witness.co.za

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