City development land audit languishes

2014-05-27 00:00

DEVELOPMENT in Msunduzi is being held up because a land and lease audit that was supposed to be completed more than a year ago, remains on councilï¾’s outstanding task list.

Msunduziï¾’s Executive Committee (Exco) has criticised officials for the lack of progress on this front. Chairperson of councilï¾’s Economic Development and Planning Committee, Eunice Majola, said the situation was unacceptable.

The audit will give a tally of vacant land available in the city for development and details of council properties that are on lease, including those on 50 and 100 year leases. This will help council identify the most suitable sites for commercial, recreational and housing developments.

Mayor Chris Ndlela said it was like being the head of a family and not knowing how many children he had. モWe want to know what land is available as it will open doors for development and the officials are being pressurised because we want our people to get jobs and for our rates base to increase,ヤ he said.

Councillor Bill Lambert said it was time Pietermaritzburg saw more cranes in the sky. モThis land audit is of vital importance and the success of this administration will depend on what Dr Ray Ngcobo and his team at Economic Development deliver on this.ヤ

Lambert thanked Majola for raising the issue and said as head of the economic development portfolio committee she experienced first hand the difficulty of getting development moving in the city.

A case in point is the Scottsville Bowling Club, which has become an overgrown haven for vagrants and a city eyesore. In a Witness article in August 2013, then Msunduzi municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said the delay in developing the property was because council was carrying out a land audit. Nine months since that article was written, the land audit is still outstanding.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi assured Exco members that he will be putting pressure on officials to ensure that the audit does materialise.

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