Empty eateries cost Durban R1.5m in lost rental
For the third peak holiday season in a row, Durban's three ghost restaurants will continue to remain vacant, incurring further losses for the eThekwini Municipality over and above the R1.5 million it could have earned to date in rentals.
The city has failed to attract the desired tenants for the beachfront buildings that were built before the soccer World Cup, the municipality's final full council meeting of the year heard on Friday.
It now plans to re-advertise for tenders, after twice before having called for proposals from restaurateurs. The city says it is looking for restaurateurs with experience, quality and variety.
Deputy mayor, Nomvuzo Shabalala, said at the meeting: "Assuming we had let these three premises on the first occasion and that we had signed-up leases commencing on December 1 2010, then we would have received 22 months rental from these premises up to September 30 this year, which would equate to approximately R1.5 million."
She was responding to a question posed by the DA on the losses suffered so far on the three restaurant premises, at Addington, New Beach and Bay of Plenty.
When asked how much the city had spent maintaining the vacant sites, Shabalala said: "All three buildings [were] cleaned on two separate occasions in conjunction with the tender processes and this has cost in the order of R38 000, excluding VAT per clean."
They were built as part of the R300 million beachfront upgrade to coincide with the World Cup.
Shabalala said an assessment team comprising members of the municipality's economic development and strategic projects office, overseen by a representative from the supply chain management unit, would assess the individual tenders.
A bid adjudication committee would then make the final decision on who is awarded the tender, which is subject to an appeal process.