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  • Writer's pictureKieran Pearce

Statement To the House

29 August 2019 Statement to the House: Brett Herron GOOD Last week, at the last sitting of this parliament, the Honourable Debbie Schafer, Minister for Education, expressed her confusion regarding the difference between double and triple. She asked me to explain the difference. Here is a simple lesson in mathematics to assist the confused MEC.

  • A property with 17 hectares of developable land was offered to the City of Cape Town for R88 million. 

  • City professionals said this was overvalued and the city anyway owned larger parcels of vacant land, already reserved for housing, nearby.

  • The City elected not to buy this property at R88 million.

  • The “agent” came back with a lower offer, of R58million.

  • This was still, according to city experts, more than double the value of recent sales in the area.

  • The city said no.

  • Minister Shafer’s colleagues in Provincial government bought the land anyway.

  • MEC Madikizela was correct when he said the city had investigated this land. 

  • It is true.  The land acquisition officials determined that R58 million was more than double the real value.

  • The province however ignored that advice.

  • MEC Simmers has confirmed that the Province paid R64,6 million so far for most of this land. 

  • Some critical servitude portions of the property are still to be acquired.

  • So, if R58million is more than double the market value, then I trust that MEC Schafer can follow the mathematics that R88 million must be triple the market value.

  • I am happy to share the evidence of this sale, which I sent to SCOPA to be investigated, if she requires it.

More concerning is that MEC Simmers admitted that he knows that 5ha of the 17ha they bought is not developable. This is because 5ha of the site is a floodplain wetland.  This means that the province has paid R5.4 million per developable hectare instead of R2.3 million per developable hectare which is the price of the City’s nearby recent acquisition at Annandale.  This, for clarification of the MEC of Education, is far more than double the market price (2.4 times the price in fact). The house should take note that they still will not answer why they did not use the free land that they were offered at Potsdam.  At zero cost for Potsdam, the price of Doornbach is – mathematically speaking – infinitely more expensive.


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