Support to sell property to Tasp at discount

Sub-council 6 is backing the City of Cape Town’s plans to sell a public property at well below its market value to the street-people aid organisation leasing it.

The sub-council supported a motion to approve, in principle, the sale of the property, subject to the consideration of alternative proposals, to the Tygerberg Association for Street People (Tasp), the lessee, for 25 percent, or R412 000, less than its R1.6 million market value.

The 714m2 property is on the corner of Wilshammer and Charl Malan streets, in Bellville.

The City’s reasoning is that Tasp promotes the welfare of the broader community and rates and taxes will flow from the sale.

Tasp is paying R130 a year to lease the property.

Tasp provides shelter and various programmes for homeless people in the northern suburbs.

Shelton Nhiwatiwa, from the City’s property management directorate, told the sub-council that Tasp planned to redevelop the property into a multi-storey building offering more accommodation and training facilities.

Mr Nhiwatiwa, however, said the City would still consider other proposals.

Sub-council 6 chairwoman Rosemary Rau said the sub-council was mindful of homeless people’s plight and backed the City’s recommendations.

An agreement was also reached that temporary borehole signs would be issued to residents awaiting the permanent signs.

The motion was presented by Ward 2 councillor Leonore van der Walt, who said they were faced with a unique situation with the water crisis and restrictions.

The councillor said residents were very aware of the restrictions and this often caused some friction when it came to reporting.

“This would help to relieve the pressure on the City’s admin and also help to facilitate the process,” she said.

Thembisa Gcamane, an official from the water demand management department, said they would be open to the interim signs but reiterated that residents would still need to pick up the proper signs, once they were ready.

She said they had not expected the spike in borehole applications, which peaked from November last year to January, during which 1 000 signs had been issued to the Goodwood municipal offices – the pick-up point for the northern suburbs.

Ms Gcamane said they were getting a lot of requests from areas such as Durbanville, Kuils River, Goodwood and Brackenfell.

Proportional Representation councillor Grant Haskins questioned how much was being spent on the signs, but Ms Gcamane said it was a small amount, less than R40 000, when compared to what customers were forking out for the boreholes, which cost about R60 000.

Ms Gcamane said they had managed to clear the backlog and were currently dealing with January and February’s requests.

In her chairwoman’s report, Ms Rau said she had attended a joint operation in Bellville CBD in February, along with Bellville SAPS, Metro police, Voortrekker Road City Improvement District and Ward 10 councillor Jacoline Visser.

“The operation was a very sobering experience. Visible urban decay and extensive illegal trading in the area brought our focus to the scale of the challenge,” she said.

Ms Rau said the planned Kruskal Avenue upgrades would play an important role in the envisioned CBD where the former Jan S Marais Hospital would house the University of the Western Cape’s new public health faculty.

“The student population is increasing rapidly and provision of student accommodation is a high priority to the university. As they experience a shortage of land on campus, the student accommodation will become a natural part of our communities. I look forward to the development of a strong partnership with UWC as they chart their expansion,” she said.

Sub-council 6 also heard of plans for Bellville’s own arts and culture festival, similar to the Stellenbosch Woordfees. There had been several meetings with the organisers about making Bellville Theatre the centre of a future festival to promote the area, Ms Rau said.

“The organisers bring extensive experience from the Wordfees and visualise triggering arts and culture activity in a number of venues in the Bellville area including outdoor concerts at Jack Muller Park,” she said.

Ms Van der Walt said Jack Muller Park was the perfect spot for outdoor concerts and welcomed the initiative.

On a motion relating to parking issues in Groenvallei, Ms Rau said they had conducted a site inspection and property management was looking into the disposal of some public open spaces in the area.

“We could use this money to create sufficient parking in the area as there is available space,” she said, adding that a parking assessment was needed.

Sub-council 6 manager Pat Jansen noted that the attendance of line department officials was becoming a problem – as several officials were not present.