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Friday Nov 24, 2017

Pretoria mayoral home fetches R5m

The City of Tshwane's mayoral house in Muckleneuk finally went under the hammer yesterday at an auction in Joburg for R5.1 million.

The property in Muckleneuk, Pretoria.

Executive mayor Solly Msimanga had hoped the house could fetch at least R8m despite that it had been valued at R5m. The successful bidder asked to remain anonymous, but said he bought the property for investment purposes.

Msimanga expressed happiness with the sale, saying it showed that the DA-led administration had been able to fulfil its promise to the people of Tshwane to dispose of the house.

He said the proceeds would be used to build a minimum of 40 to 45 houses for needy families.

He said a meeting would take place between himself, MMC for human settlements Mandla Nkomo and municipal manager Dr Moeletsi Mosola to discuss how to identify low-cost houses beneficiaries.

"We can make sure we allocate houses to the most needy beneficiaries. There are old people that have been on the housing list since 1998.

"We can look into child-headed homes but there are also families of the disabled people that come to mind," he said.

He hoped that by the end of this financial year some houses would have been built and allocated.

"I don't know whether we will be finished with the houses by the end of this financial year. If we are able to finish we will start moving people in. We are not going to wait until we have built all of them before we move people in," he said.

Msimanga spoke of the R12m that had sparked controversy when it was spent on renovations to the property by the ANC municipality.

"The house has been standing for a number of years and millions and millions have been spent on it," he said

A forensic investigation instituted by the ANC then had revealed a trail of corrupt activities into the renovation project.

The project costs were initially set at R1.2m, but they rocketed to R12m without explanation.

The project was part of a R132m refurbishment project, which included the City Hall, commissioned under the watch of former mayor Kgosientso "Sputla" Ramokgopa.

Msimanga has since laid criminal charges with the police against those implicated in the forensic investigation.

At a media briefing yesterday, he said: "This is far from over. We have laid criminal charges against those that were involved. I am frustrated at the justice system. It is now in the hands of authorities."

Msimanga lashed out at public representatives who wanted to stay in properties paid for with public funds.

"The thing is: we are there to to serve people and we should live in our own homes. I am staying in my own house that I have been staying in for years before I even any proper became mayor.

"We should do that. We are there not to enjoy the perks but we are there to serve the people," he said.

It was the responsibility of his administration to use every cent of taxpayers' money to the benefit of the people of the City.

Msimanga said the City had decided to auction the property in the name of transparency and fairness.

"We didn't want to look or let the system sound like it was biased towards an individual. This is why we opened it up to the public like everything that we do in the City now.

"Everybody must know what it is that we are doing. Everybody must get a fair chance to bid and this is what we do exactly. It was properly advertised. We went through the right processes.

"Members of the public can witness how we dispose of the property."

Pretoria News


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