WC SCOPA

GOOD has submitted supplementary evidence to the Western Cape Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) in respect of the purchase of land in DuNoon following the publication of false and misleading information by a spokesman for the City of Cape Town and the MEC for Human Settlements.

Last month, GOOD submitted a dossier of information to SCOPA revealing that a piece of land known as Doornbach had been purchased by the Housing Development Agency, on behalf of the province, for more than twice its market value – when the state already owned a tract of land eminently suitable for housing around the corner.

The only possible issue the province could have had with using the land already owned by the State (it was already paid for, in the neighbourhood, reserved for housing and therefore relatively quick to develop) appears to be that it was slightly closer to middle-class Table View; it would advance integration.

According to the DA councillor for the area, residents there are anxious to avoid the suburb becoming "a Khayelitsha by the sea".

In response to GOOD's submission of the dossier to SCOPA, City of Cape Town spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo reportedly claimed that the two sites served different purposes and were therefore incomparable. Tyhalibongo's statement is false. Evidence already provided to Scopa shows that from the City's perspective the so-called Potsdman site was, "not required for any other municipal purpose; hence the reservation [for affordable government housing] is supported and recommended".

MEC Tertuis Simmers' response to the matter, in a statement on 18 August, is ill-considered and deliberately misleading. According to him, the Doorbach property was subjected to two evaluations. In order to justify the discrepancies in the two valuations (R71m versus R33m), he said the lower valuation excluded the 2.2 hectare Erf 35148. If this was true, it would make this erf in Dunoon more expensive than prime property in Constantia that is presently on the market.

Evidence submitted to SCOPA shows that the City considered purchasing the Doornbach site after it was offered at a price of R58 million but concluded this was "more than double" the market value.

According to Simmers, the province has thus far paid R64.4m for the site, which excludes two critical servitudes, transfer fees and holding costs.

The Government Immovable Asset Management Act of 2007 states, "when an immovable asset is acquired...best value for money must be realised".

Click here to see the Attached letter GOOD Secretary-General and Western Cape MPL, Brett Herron, submitted to SCOPA today…

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Cameron Arendse