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Friday Feb 20, 2015

Tshwane's 'Plastic View' for sale

Woodland Village - the so-called Plastic View informal settlement - in Moreleta Park is among the first batch of Tshwane municipal land that will go under the hammer next month.

One of the biggest properties that will go under the hammer next month is Plastic View informal settlement, bordered by red. The yellow line borders vacant land also set to be auctioned.

Another prime property on the list is near the intersection of Bergamot and Anthesis streets in Lotus Gardens and includes a municipal clinic.

However, the clinic will not be sold, and the land around it will be subdivided, with the portion where the facility is located preserved.

A mixed use of residential, retail and business has been proposed for the easily accessible property, which is surrounded by existing high-density housing developments.

The list of land parcels up for grabs in South Africa's largest property auction was made public during the inaugural Tshwane investor summit at the Pretoria Country Club yesterday.

The city has appointed The High Street Auction Co, which recently sold the iconic Kyalami race track, to dispose of more than 80 selected land parcels with a combined value of R500 million.

Lance Chalwin-Milton, of The High Street Auction Co, clarified the imminent sale of Plastic View, saying the city had a plan to relocate the residents. The 216ha land is made up of 106ha and 110ha to be sold separately. It has been described by the auctioneer as a "once in a lifetime" chance, with exceptional development opportunities. It will be rezoned to the highest and best use.

The land forms part of the farm Garsfontein and is near the massive Moreleta Park NG Kerk. There is an estimated 3 000 residents in almost 1 000 households at Plastic View.

Mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale said discussions were under way on the future of the residents.

Several sites, including one near the Woodlands shopping centre, had been identified for low-cost housing development where Plastic View residents and others would be housed.

Relocation of the residents will mark an end to a battle dating back to 2006 when police burnt down Plastic View residents' shacks. They turned to court, which instructed the municipality to make an alternative plan for them.

Louise du Plessis, of Lawyers for Human Rights, who has over the years assisted Plastic View residents, said there was concern about the plight of those who would not qualify for low-cost housing.

The matter would be taken up with the City of Tshwane, she said.

Other properties being auctioned off are in various parts of the capital, including Soshanguve South Extension 14 opposite the Halte train station, Sinoville, Rooihuiskraal North Extension 22, Zwartkop Extension 8 and La Montagne. There is another piece of land near the intersection of Trevenna Street and Steve Biko Road in Sunnyside, opposite Sunnypark shopping centre.

Highveld Technopark's "last prime site" and near the Eco Boulevard shopping centre is also among the city properties to be auctioned.

The land is zoned industrial, with proposed zoning for offices or residential.

The properties are among the first 20 to be auctioned at Summer Place in Hyde Park on March 24. About 15 or 20 more land parcels will be auctioned in April and the remainder in May. Chalwin-Milton said The High Street Co would present only the highest bidder to the City of Tshwane. Counter bids will not be allowed. Prospective bidders will have to present themselves in person at the auction or via an online platform. The city will offer various incentives to developers, such as fast-tracking land use applications, special development zones, bulk services contribution rebates and property rates exemptions.

Executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the main issue was about raising money to fund service delivery initiatives. Thousands in the city did not have access to basic services in Soshanguve, Zithobeni and Hammanskraal, he said.

Joff van Reenen, of The High Street Auction Co demonstrated a live auction at the summit, auctioning off an auctioneer's gavel which was "won" by the executive mayor, much to the delight of guests.

Pretoria News

 
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