Government to sell property worth millions

Posted On Wednesday, 25 April 2001 03:01 Published by
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Walking the tightrope between financial and social returns

 Air force base

Seventeen military properties and an old hospital complex are among the state properties being disposed of by the public works department.

Gugu Mazibuko, chief director of state properties at the public works department, says the properties covering nearly 7000ha and worth hundreds of millions of rand will not all be released at the same time as the timing is important in achieving the best possible prices.

Bids for the properties will be evaluated in terms of price and empowerment, looking at all levels of the development proposals, not just shareholding. The environmental, traffic and residents' concerns need to be addressed by proposals.

'The aim is to balance financial and social returns,' Mazibuko says. 'We would like both very much.'

For government, it is a complex process. Before reaching this point, an asset register of fixed properties, which includes details of the property, had to be compiled. This process continues at the moment it stands at 142384 national government properties and 232545 provincial government properties.

It remains to be seen how many of the properties will be snapped up. Some are poorly located and have development constraints. The last thing government wants is another Aventura on its hands.

At a conference in Pretoria where details were announced last week, developers voiced concern that the disposal frameworks were not structured well enough, especially where rezoning was concerned.

Some delegates felt that the properties were too big, ruling out all but the major developers.

This could lead to lower prices for government because of the bidders' field being narrowed. It was suggested the properties be divided and released in phases, or for public/private development partnerships.

Mazibuko said the issues would be examined. However, the department did not want to co-ordinate developers' efforts.

'We don't want to be too restrictive and not allow for creativity,' she said.

'This is a challenge to form partnerships for smaller players to become big players.'

Some of the properties that will be disposed of as redundant include:

An old hospital complex adjacent to Bourke's Luck Potholes and Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve on about 91ha, with an estimated value of R20m;

Langefontein, a 1839ha property 40km south of Saldanha, previously used as a radio transmission complex, and with an estimated value of R2,7m;

A 111ha property called Tooth Rock, 1km northwest of Saldanha, with an estimated value of R15m and previously used as weapons range;

The 10ha army women's college in George, 2km north of the central business district, and with an estimated value of R20,6m. The military will retain use of some of the facilities;

A 350ha portion of the Zwartkops air base near Pretoria, with an estimated value of R30m. This land has dolomite deposits, on which sink holes tend to appear;

A 795ha portion of Mmabatho military base near Mafikeng, parts of which will continue to be used by the military. It is estimated to be worth R10m;

A 293ha portion of Thaba Nchu military base, 70km from Bloemfontein and with an estimated value of R17m;

A 2305ha portion of Port St Johns military base, used by the forestry department and a private school which wishes to remain on the site (value not yet determined);

A 850ha portion of Waterkloof Airport near Pretoria, used by the foreign affairs department. Dolomite areas on this site constrain development;

The 198ha functional Ysterplaat airport close to Milnerton in Cape Town;

A 65ha portion of Wingfield air base outside Cape Town;

A 5192ha portion of Pomfret military base about 200km north of Vryburg.

Six of the 17 military and air bases government plans to dispose of are still functional. Only portions will be sold of some.

A tender for a property in Brooke's Hill, Port Elizabeth, has already been awarded to an Eastern Cape consortium.

Development proposals for the disposal of a 150ha site in Midrand, south of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, closed on February 13 and adjudication of the bids is under way.

Proposals for development of the Old Supreme Court (1,1ha) in Maritzburg closed on April 10, but proposals for a 95ha site at Silvermine, Cape Town, will be accepted until May 8.

Last modified on Saturday, 08 March 2014 09:11

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