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Wednesday Mar 25, 2015

Tshwane property auction nets R188 million

He sat quietly and left soon after paying R41.5 million for a prime property in Erasmuskloof during the City of Tshwane's land parcels auction in Hyde Park yesterday.

As the media combed the stylish Summer Place looking for the bidder, he was nowhere to be found. But Kapei wa Phahlamohlaka was acquiring the property on behalf of the Public Investment Corporation.

It is wholly owned by the government and one of the largest investment managers in Africa. It was confirmed as the new owner of the 7.7 hectares of land near the intersection of Solomon Mahlangu and Delmas Road. "He paid for the property and left," said lead auctioneer and The High Street Auction co-director, Joff van Reenen, who presided over the auction.

The land has services readily available and potential for a mixeduse development. The city has also lined up fantastic incentives for the buyer. Conditions are that the owner will maintain an existing wetland and allow public access.

The money paid for the property was the highest of all 17 land parcels auctioned on the first day of the city's land auction, described as the biggest by a government institution. The second auction will be held in May and the last in June.

Another property that earned the city a sizable amount is located near the intersection of Stanza Bopape, Pretorius and End streets in Koedoespoort - literally the gateway to the city from the N1 and N4 highways. The property fetched R20m.

Several flag posts that are on its outskirts were not part of the sale, although the buyer could negotiate with the city, Van Reenen said.

Two neighbouring properties in Soshanguve South Extension 14, near the Halte railway station and with future plans for a bus rapid transit route, originally sold for R2.85m and R1.75m but were combined and re-auctioned for R5.15m.

The city has embarked on a land release programme that will see it dispose of more than 80 properties, raising an estimated R500m through the land auction to fund infrastructure development and provision of basic services. After weeks of uncertainties and legal action, the auction got under way yesterday.

Of the 20 properties on the original list, three were taken off at the 11th hour - two portions of the Farm Garsfontein, including Plastic View informal settlement, by way of a court order, and another in Laudium Extension 2, at the city's discretion.

The properties that went under the hammer earned the city a combined R188m. MMC for Economic Development Subesh Pillay said through the auction the city would be able to raise money without increasing the financial burden on residents.

The city hoped to auction Plastic View and the adjacent property before the end of the current financial year, he said. The land parcels that would be auctioned constituted just 1 percent of properties at the city's disposal, he said.

Once fully developed, they would contribute immensely to the city's coffers. Land use and development applications would be fast-tracked to ensure the properties were developed as fast as possible. "Our incentive scheme means developers will lose out if they leave the properties idle for too long."

Pretoria News

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