Public works confirms possible Pollsmoor sale

2014-06-27 21:06
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Cape Town - The sale of Cape Town's renowned Pollsmoor Prison and the land it occupies may be on the cards.

Public works confirmed on Friday that it is conducting a feasibility study to "inform the best and highest use" of the 2.5km² correctional services-run facility.

The sprawling prison complex - which in the 1980s held former president Nelson Mandela and other senior ANC leaders - is located in Cape Town's upmarket southern suburbs, where land is in short supply and that which is available is sold at high prices.

Responding to questions e-mailed to him earlier in the day, the department's media and stakeholder relations director Thami Mchunu said the feasibility study would be finalised this (2014/15) financial year.

On what it would cost, he responded: "Internal resources are being used to do the feasibility study".

But to questions on whether the study is examining the sale of the whole or a portion of the Pollsmoor Prison property, or what would happen to its inmates should it be sold, he offered exactly the same answer he gave to a question seeking confirmation the property might be sold.

"Currently, the department is conducting feasibility studies to inform the best and highest use of the subject properties," he said.

The properties referred to include both Pollsmoor Prison and Leeuwkop Prison, in Midrand, Gauteng, another correctional services-run facility the department is considering selling.

In his response, Mchunu did confirm that the entire Pollsmoor precinct was state-owned.

"The title owner of the land and buildings is the Republic of South Africa under the custodianship of the department of public works," he said.

There was no immediate response to similar questions e-mailed mid-morning on Friday to the department of correctional services.

The possibility of Pollsmoor Prison being sold came to light earlier this week, when public works - responding to a parliamentary question by DA MP James Selfe - said it was conducting a feasibility study on behalf of correctional services.

Read more on:    da  |  cape town  |  prisons
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