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Wednesday Oct 31, 2012

Cape Town to decide on CTICC land deal

The next step in the land deal between the city of Cape Town and Naspers will be heard before a full council meeting today.

A bird's eye view of the CTICC, the Westin Grand and Customs House.

It deals with land needed for the Cape Town Convention Centre's (CTICC) planned expansion.

Part of the plan includes the city buying land next to the CTICC from Naspers. And the council will tomorrow discuss the move to secure parking for Naspers on part of the CTICC land.

In March the ANC raised concerns about the deal. It said the market value of the land was R50 million, but the city was paying more than R100m.

The ANC said this highlighted the "questionable relationship" between the DA and Naspers shareholders. However, the city has denied any wrongdoing.

Tomorrow a proposal about the sale will be placed before a full council.

Ian Neilson, the deputy mayor, explained there was a provision in the contract it had with Naspers. As part of the deal, the Cape Town International Convention Centre Company (Convenco) will lease some of the land to Naspers for parking bays.

"In the event that Convenco ceases to exist for any reason, the city will guarantee that Naspers will still be able to lease parking from us. This is known as stepin rights and it is this that will go to council. It is the final step in a complex set of agreements with respect to the land purchase from Naspers."

The public protector's office is investigating the sale. Neilson said the city had not received the report.

Earlier this month, Rashid Toefy, the chief executive officer of the CTICC, said the release of the report was "imminent".

Cape Argus

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