Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
24 Nov 2017
7:10 am

‘Sale money of Tshwane mayoral mansion will fund 40 houses’

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Graft charges have been laid after ANC council claims it spent R12m on renovation.

Then-Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga stands outside the mayoral mansion on the first day it was open to potential purchasers at a price tag of R5 million. Picture: Jacques Nelles

At least 40 families are set to benefit from the sale of the Tshwane mayoral house, which was auctioned off yesterday for R5.1 million.

Mayor Solly Msimanga said the money raised from the sale would be used to build about 40 low-cost houses in Tshwane. The four-bedroom mansion, which was inherited by the municipality from the defunct Pretoria City Council under the apartheid regime, had been used over the years as the official mayoral residence.

However, when the DA’s Msimanga took office last year he vowed to sell the house and laid criminal charges against three senior officials after allegations of fraud and corruption emerged related to a R132 million refurbishment project on municipal buildings embarked on by the previous administration.

The project included renovations to the mayoral residence, the cost of which was initially set at R1.2 million, but mysteriously escalated to R12 million.

Joff van Reenen, lead auctioneer and director of High Street Auctions, said the company has previously worked with the City of Tshwane to successfully convert non-performing core assets to cash.

The company’s joint managing director, Lance Chalwin Milton, said auctions were the preferred method for government, stateowned enterprises and large corporates to divest of non-core assets. This was because of the transparency and the fair market value achieved on the day, he said.

“We can achieve in a matter of minutes what a tender process or broker does in six months or more; it’s sales on steroids and delivers fast and satisfactory results.”

Msimanga said the first homes to be built with the money made from the auction could be completed by the end of this financial year. He said the city had not yet decided whether to allocate all the funds to one area or split the proceeds across several regions.

“We intend to be able to take media on a tour of the building sites before the end of the city’s financial year.”

– simnikiweh@citizen.co.za

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