Fred Nel MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
The land auctions announced by the City of Tshwane municipality to take place tomorrow (24 March 2015) should be stopped as they are not legal.
In a reply to me last week from the Gauteng MEC for COGTA it transpired that the City did not follow proper public participation processes to determine whether the properties it intended to sell are necessary for current or future municipal service delivery.
It is my view that the public and other stakeholders were not properly consulted to determine whether the land to be auctioned was necessary for municipal service delivery.
At least 11 of the properties are currently zoned as public open space and selling it off could find the City in contravention of its own Spatial Development Framework (SDF), which requires a minimum number of public open spaces required for the city’s population.
In the light of the City’s densification policy, public open spaces are a critical design element.
Click here to view the list of properties on auction (Pdf, 15Mb).
One of the properties offered for sale is currently zoned for education purposes. The report that served before the council to seek approval for the sale of the properties did not indicate whether the Department of Education would require this property for future use as a school.
Properties currently zoned for housing are also among the list, which may impact on the Gauteng government’s plans to deliver housing to the poor.
Land for low cost housing is already scarce and by selling it off land Tshwane worsens the situation. It also goes against Premier David Makhura’s plans to use state owned land to spark development and growth.
Two of the properties are currently zoned as transport hubs and one property earmarked for sale was required as a future transport hub.
There is also concern that some of the properties have rivers, streams and fountains, and may be ecologically sensitive, which disqualifies them from being sold.
It also seems as if the projected prices properties may fetch as presented to the Tshwane Council, were heavily inflated – as many were based on future value after development had taken place.
Current value may be much lower than purported by the Tshwane municipality.
To this end I wrote to Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamobolo to urgently intervene in terms of his powers as provided for in the Municipal Systems Act.
In the meantime, the DA will compile a submission to the Office of the Public Protector to investigate the legality of the Tshwane land auctions.