Tshwane to raise R500m in land, property auction

2015-01-21 15:49


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Pretoria - The City of Tshwane will put 81 properties and 10 prime portions of land on auction to raise R500m to fund various projects aimed at improving the lives of the poor, Mayor Kgosientso Sputla Ramokgopa has announced.

According to City Press Ramokgopa was speaking at the municipality’s Centurion offices on Wednesday where he lashed the EFF for apparently encouraging vulnerable people to invade council land and accused the organisation, whose leader Julius Malema has distanced the party from the land grabs, of trying to gain “political currency”.

Ramokgopa also announced that the city has obtained a “general interdict” against all future land invasions after thousands of people, believed to live outside of Tshwane, descended on land belonging to the city in Nellmapius in November last year.

Ramokgopa said the land invasions were hampering the city’s development initiatives, in particular the plan to move thousands of families from informal settlements to serviced stands which have metered water, electricity and sanitation connections, parks, paved roads, drainage, waste management and title deeds.

Between December 2014 and 20 Januar, the city had demolished over 2 500 shacks illegally erected on council-owned land.

Law enforcement agencies have been kept busy every night since the first land invasion with invaders defiantly returning at night even hours after they have been evicted.

“We have intensified the monitoring and prevention efforts and have embarked on an educational campaign to inform communities on the correct procedures to apply for a home,” said Ramokgopa, who took swipes at the EFF for the “anarchy” the party apparently encouraged.

He announced that 120 000 housing units would be completed by the end of the year, which includes 40 000 houses by the private sector, while over 60 000 housing units would come from the city and the Gauteng department of human settlements.

Over 50 informal settlements had already been formalised and ten others were proclaimed in order to legally receive basic services from the council. These accounted for 47 000 stands.

Ramokgopa said the city’s plan was to rid Tshwane of informal settlements, while formalising and proclaiming those that have been in existence for years.

“Whilst we acknowledge that informal settlements are likely to continue to exist with the city being the magnet for internal and international migrants who come into the city in search of education and job opportunities, we have made a conscious investment in the provision of basic services and a package of rudimentary services for informal settlements,” said Ramokgopa, adding that the city was pumping huge financial resources into these projects.

The city’s ambitious plans, said Ramokgopa, which sounded more like the annual state of the city address, would not be achieved without the private sector.

He said the important role played by the private sector in the city’s development had prompted the city to launch its first Inaugural Investor Summit which will take place on 17 February to “prepare” potential buyers who may be interested in buying the council land and properties to be auctioned in March.


Read more on:    eff  |  pretoria  |  land  |  local government  |  politics

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