Pilgrim's Rest: Businesses knew in time

2012-07-05 22:29

Johannesburg - The Mpumalanga public works department insisted on Thursday that Pilgrim's Rest business owners were informed in time of the expiry of their leases.

"The department advertised the leasing of the buildings on a tender bulletin in October last year, the closing date was November 2011.

"The leases of all businesses which were on tender had expired," said spokesman David Nkambule in a statement.

Consultative meetings were held in September last year and March 2012 before the tender process, said Nkambule.

"The Pilgrims' Rest Business Chamber represented by Marius Brummer was informed that the department will advertise the leasing of the buildings as mandated by the Public Finance Management Act," he said.

He said a budget of more than R4m had been set aside for the daily maintenance of the town.

The Times newspaper reported on Thursday that at least 17 tenants at the heritage site faced evacuation after being issued with eviction notices by the department last week.

The tenants have to vacate the properties by the end of this month.

Some of the tenants said there had been no response from the department regarding their own tender applications.

Business owners lease the properties from the department which owns and runs the historic mining town.

The Freedom Front Plus said it would ask Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate whether the correct procedures were followed in the awarding of tenders to new shop tenants.

"It appears that some tenants had been threatened by officials that they would be removed if they do not vacate the premises by the end of this month," said FF Plus spokesperson Anton Alberts.

  • bernpm - 2012-07-05 23:07

    Old wisdom: "if it works, do not fix it"

      Koos - 2012-07-06 01:34

      ANC lack of wisdom: break it!

      Walter - 2012-07-06 05:28

      I smell another conniving ANC rat!

      deabreu - 2012-07-06 07:15

      "The businesses KNEW in time", if this is true, then why are the businesses complaining? The businesses did NOT know at all. These government around the world are always full of deception.

      Michaele - 2012-07-06 08:19

      This is all to do with providing premises for our "buddies".

      procold2 - 2012-07-06 08:58

      this has anc corruption written all over it and please n24 it should read "faced eviction after being issued with eviction notices" not "evacuation"

  • - 2012-07-05 23:20

    the people currently owning those shops are obviously making to much money and the black government wants to make it BEE. This is sick man, how can you rip a persons livelihood from under them, by using greedy power tactics. I bet you the same notification process was used on these business owners, as was used to announce the e tolling and paid parking schemes these bastards want to force on us.

      indianajohn - 2012-07-05 23:26

      The businesses that replace the current ones will fail as surely as the sun rises. This is very obvious to anyone with a brain. They've killed the town. When there's nobody left, they won't have learnt a damn thing either. The whole place depends on tourism, so what do the morons do? Block the roads into town? Nobody will ever go there again. Where will the utter stupidity end?

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-07-06 06:24

      Not only that, those business have all the right to vacate their own property, goods and equipment from the premises. So, all in all, the new tenants will not be able to 'cash in' on existing businesses... Except... our constitution allows for expropriation in PUBLIC INTEREST. Is this PUBLIC INTEREST? Can't wait for a court case.

      Arthur Salvado - 2012-07-06 08:05

      Very very clever. Instead of building houses(eish money stolen) they grab a ready make squatter camp. Tourist can then see a squatter camp and experience being robbed and mugged. Let's not even go to murder for a cell phone. Eish

      Nicholas - 2012-07-06 08:36

      @voiceinthedesert. That is exactly what one of the shop owners was told, its time for the whiteys to leave so that "locals" can benefit from the tourism trade. This "expiring of leases" bullsh*t is a well concocted smokescreen. The fact that so many black workers have lost their jobs is a small price to pay for the resentful Mpumalanga public works department. Go back to Pilgrims Rest in a year and you will find an abandoned, deserted dump with a warning to visitors to stay away if they want to avoid being robbed.

  • gerda.vanrensburg - 2012-07-05 23:33

    The government needs those buildings to use it for ANC propaganda. Every building and road will fall in disarray and even the tourists will stop going there. - 2012-07-05 23:50

      Well Lamola reckons we don't need foreign investors, so i suppose according to the "Garden Boy" we don't need tourists either.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-07-06 06:26

      Hoe het Malema nou gesê? WE DON'T NEED INVESTORS. WE HAVE THE CHINESE. Let them have fun.

      frieda.paton - 2012-07-06 22:10

      The buildings and roads are already in disrepair because of lack of funds. What maintenance is being done is undertaken by the business owners.

  • marius.vandenberg.77 - 2012-07-06 03:45

    The wheels of the gravy train goes round and round......Mamparralanga rules! This cANCer Government have got no regard for heritage. It is all about the here and now and self-enrichment or is this the way to ECONOMIC Emancipation....

      dewaldmontgomery - 2012-07-06 06:28

      We know that by now. Just look at how they squatted the 'Cradle of Humankind'.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-07-06 04:02

    Amazing how ones comments gets deleted if someone at News24 dont like it !! Commented this morrow......did not use swear words,or hidden swear words, did not call anybody bad names.....just my straight forward observation and oooops, an hour later...gone !!!!! Freedom of speech....not according to News24 !!

      Squeegee - 2012-07-06 06:43

      Welcome to the club...

      matthew.swanepoel.9 - 2012-07-06 07:59

      news 24 are run by the same kind of people that would like to "dig up" Pilgrims Rest, I think people should take their comments to a different more credible news source.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-06 08:04

      peter.fraser.92754 Had the same problem, I phoned a person from news24 a Mr Eugene 2+3 last week, but heard nothing from him after a week

      fanie.gerber.98 - 2012-07-06 08:17

      Indeed Peter - if the comment is one the mark - no hidden message/joke..Man it will get nailed just like that.

  • Don.Tandy - 2012-07-06 04:45

    ANCorruption Tenderpreneurs???

  • Heinrich - 2012-07-06 06:39

    Transformation at who’s cost? This is not development it’s forcefully taken over at the expense of another. Stop calling it BEE and start calling it FREE.

  • martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-06 07:27

    i will not be giving business to the new pilgrims rest when this turns out to be an anc deployment, just as i do not support them in every other way. its like giving money to somali pirates, they will continue to take unless the giving stops

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-06 07:29

    This just another onslaught against the Whites in this country. The ANC can't develop anything using their own resources, they can only break down and demolish while increasing poverty and unemployment!

  • andy.pipkin.5458 - 2012-07-06 07:34

    And there are 1000's of street vendors occupying our pavements illegally... which also belongs to government and does not contribute to any tourism whatsoever. Will they also put leasing of pavement space out to tender? What's fair is fair hey ANC, if you want to wash one hand... be prepared to wash the other too.

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-07-06 07:36

    There goes the neighborhood.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-07-06 07:43

    Oh great, whats going to happen to that pretty little town now!?

      Michaele - 2012-07-06 08:20

      Either a ghost town or the Chinese will invade

  • warren.carne.9 - 2012-07-06 08:08

    What a joke, the lunatics are about to take over the asylum

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-07-06 08:21

    Ohh well fair is fair if what they say is true, give someone else a chance to run a business there now. Competition is always good for business and for the consumer.

  • tamarin.nelvanzyl - 2012-07-06 08:26

    This is outrageous! Pilgrim's Rest is a beautiful place and should be kept just like it is. How can Europeans keep towns and buildings in order for hundreds of years and we can't. Just leave the tenants, they mean a lot to tourism and change ISN'T always good.

  • tom.vorster - 2012-07-06 08:34

    Lets be honest here, Pilgrims Rest has been in a state of decline for ages now. Many tour operators no longer recommend PR as a destination; tour busses no longer pass through there in the same numbers; visitors who chose to go there are harrassed by the nut hawkers, car guards and informal car washers making their experience unpleasant; public works have spent nothing on the place for years leading to its decline. Tenants knew that their leases where up for tender in October last year, some chose to retender, others didnt. When the due date passed (I believe it was the end of December) and no-one was any clearer whether they still had a lease or not some simply stopped trading, others carried on as normal while others chose to run down their stock anticipating that one day, some deployed cadre would look up from their bucket of KFC and decide the fate of Pilgrims Rest. What happens now, who knows - the town already has an image problem, so new tenants or old tenants, its going to take a plenty of PR to bring the tourists back. There is talk about some of the new tenants not having a clue about business and having no capital - if they expect that they will walk into a lucrative business they are seriously misguided, the regulars wont go back to Johhny's pub if Johnny isnt there. Pilgrims Rest's future is bleak.

      veronica.lefleurdaniels - 2012-07-06 21:34

      Agree,Returned from Mpumalanga a week ago.Very beautiful region, but Pilgrims Rest was a bit disappointing:we were afraid to visit the stalls cos the hawkers were so agressive!Our car was washed without our permission and a R40 demanded which we paid out of fear!That said, it would be wonderful if the town could be restored to its former glory, whatever that may take!

  • chrisfourielipman - 2012-07-06 08:34

    Perhaps the time is right to bring in "new blood". The town is no longer what it was a few years back and hopefully this will restore it to its former glory.

      Guy - 2012-07-06 11:48

      Keep on dreaming. And when you wake up the country will still be in a worse state than it's ever been.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-07-06 08:45

    Business owners lease the properties from the department which owns and runs the historic mining town. "It appears that some tenants had been threatened by officials that they would be removed if they do not vacate the premises by the end of this month," No guessing needed as to why everthing went so badly, with biased, racist and greedy attitudes, but what the hell. It already went down in the dumbs. People time to move as the anc are already forcing people to move, just don't know the hell where. Not long before they say you that side and you this side. History repeating itself?

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-07-06 10:42

    Actions by organs of the state such as this one confirms my belief that the state owns each and every one of us AND our assets. When it suits the state/province they will simply take, take take....., sometimes with compensation, rarely of equivalent value. Take a look at this site to see the USA perspective.

  • Roger W James - 2014-08-01 18:10

    Pilgrims rest: I visited in July 2014. We used to go there often as a family. Now it is ruined. Don't bother visiting this place. It used to be a fabulous mining village themed around the old gold mining days. Now it is a tatty, poorly run, non-discript place selling only more of the same African "crafts". Nothing of the old mining theme remains. You could be in any place in the area that sells the same junk. I won't be going back and advise tourists to give it a miss.

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