Pretoria – The former ANC administration in Tshwane has been fingered in a controversial deal, in which it allegedly leased a municipal area encompassing 1139 hectares of land for 99 years at a cost of R100 per year to a private company.
The shocking details of how the city entered into a deal known as West Capital Development Project with a company called Tsoseletso Consortium were revealed by mayor Solly Msimanga at a media briefing at Tshwane House.
Msimanga also announced the intention by the city to take legal action with a view to extricate itself out of the contract.
He was accompanied by MMC for Corporate and Shared Services, Cilliers Brink, who shed more light on how the deal was done.
“It was approved by the municipal council in 2011, but at the time councillors were not informed that the alienated land might in fact be needed for purposes of municipal service delivery,” he said.
He said the deal initially involved the sale of 128 council-owned properties to the Tsoseletso Consortium, but it was changed to a 99-year lease by the municipal council in 2013.
“The rental payable by Tsoseletso is a nominal amount of R100 per calendar year,” he said.
The then city manager Jason Ngobeni was authorised to sign for a contract, which was also purported as a development project for student accommodation, according to Brink.
“But the deal Ngobeni concluded with Tsoseletso’s shelf company Zambli 279 Properties Pty) Ltd went way beyond municipal council had ever authorised. Instead of letting a portion of the Remainder of Portion 6 (of the farm Pretoria Town and Townsland 351 JR)” the entire remainder was included in the transactions-an area encompassing 1139 hectares,” he said.
He said the land included the city’s waste water treatment plant, the leadership and management academy, the Heroes Acre Cemetery, a bus depot, the city’s procurement office and a municipal clinic.
“For the umpteenth time the questionable dealings of the former ANC administration in Tshwane compels this administration and residents to approach the courts for relief. We have uncovered serious irregularities in a massive property transaction concluded by the previous ANC government in the City of Tshwane,” he said.