Tshwane mayoral mansion to be sold so money can be spent on needy - Msimanga

Pretoria – Like a modern day Robin Hood, Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga is taking from the city and giving to the poor by placing the mayoral mansion on sale, with the proceeds going to the building of houses for those in need. 

On Sunday, Msimanga had a tour of the mansion, which had been lived in several years ago by a mayor of the city, and said the price tag was around R5m.  

The price tag, however, won’t recuperate the cost of the controversial upgrades, which cost around R12m. 

Msimanga laughed at the suggestion that he was a modern-day Robin Hood, saying it was rather about giving back what had been taken from the people.  

"We want to make sure that we dispose of it, and then we can use the money to ensure that a number of families will get a house," he said. 

"We are hoping to build at least 50 houses or more. We will see whether we do a number per region, or do it one area, but we want to ensure that people who have been on the housing list benefit."

Msimanga said the decision to sell the mansion was made as the house had not been used for a number of years, yet it continued to cost Tshwane residents, without giving them benefits.  

"It doesn’t serve any purpose, I have never had a meeting or even slept here. I’m told my predecessor also never stayed here, but they had meetings here, so they at least had some use for it. It’s something that I don’t want to see on our books going forward." 

"The buying of it was controversial, the renovations that went into it are controversial and we don’t want, ever, to have to spend more money on the property at the expense of the residents of the city."

In terms of the R12m spent, the suggested changes to the house didn’t seem like changes at all, Msimanga pointed out.

On tour, he showed how the cupboards and cupboard doors in all of the rooms were substandard and damaged.  

He said the garage doors had to be fixed after it was renovated, as well as the landscaping and the tiles.   

"The security fencing now had to be redone all over again after the controversial upgrade had been done," said Msimanga. 

News24 also spotted wear and tear on the face of the mansion, as well as the guard houses, which had not been maintained over the years.  

When Msimanga came into office over a year ago, the mansion was part of a report that prompted the new mayor to lay criminal charges of corruption and fraud against officials of the previous ANC-led administration. 

"The forensic report is very telling about who is involved in all of that, and we have laid criminal charges. It’s one of those cases we have opened with the South African Police Service. We are now waiting for the law to take its course."

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