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Soweto stands are up for sale Print E-mail
Written by Ndaba Dlamini   
21 September 2009

Scores of vacant stands are on sale in Soweto

The Joburg Property Company has identified vacant residential and business sites in Soweto that it is placing on public tender.

SCORES of vacant stands are on sale in Soweto and township residents and interested parties have been asked to submit their bids for the stands.

The City is on a drive to 'regularise' land in Soweto
The City is on a drive to 'regularise' land in Soweto

The property development department of the Joburg Property Company (JPC) is selling about 1 000 vacant residential and business stands in the township as part of the Soweto land regularisation programme. The JPC manages the City's property portfolio.

Of these, 50 vacant residential and 20 vacant business stands have already been put out to tender. The JPC would like to test the market before releasing more properties to determine the demand. The 70 stands range in size from 100m2 to 9 807m2 and are going for R55 a square metre for residential and R95 a square metre for business sites.

All this is part of the City's drive to "regularise" land in Soweto, a project that seeks to release council-owned land and transfer legal ownership of it to people who have for years benefited "economically" from the land, according to the department.

"The regularisation process involved auditing and surveying council-owned land in the township and then compiling a property plan for the sites. The aim of the property plan is mainly to determine the best use for all properties and to make proposals towards the release, use and transfer of properties," explains Marius Pieters, the JPC project manager: land regularisation.

The audit started way back in 2005, when the JPC embarked on the land regularisation exercise. By 2008, it had compiled a list of 1 316 vacant residential and 98 vacant business stands that were owned by the council.

A proof of prior entitlement advertisement was placed to identify people who may have any claims or "prior entitlement" to these stands, according to Pieters.

"There are people who have been utilising some of these properties since the 1960s, paying rates and taxes, and have, through agreements with the City, been ceded the right to own these properties."


 

Proof of entitlement
People also have to provide other forms of proof that entitle them to the stands; these include an existing agreement of sale, an existing lease agreement, a trading permit or licence, and a City of Johannesburg rates and taxes account.

If such proof of entitlement is produced, the council will transfer these stands to beneficiaries at a cost determined by the entitlement process, Pieters says.

Of the 1 316 vacant residential stands advertised for prior entitlement, it was found that 452 had no prior entitlement. Of these 452 stands, 50 in Diepkloof, Meadowlands, Tladi and Zola have been released for bidding.

"Of the 98 vacant business stands advertised for prior entitlement, 27 sites had prior entitlement. The remainder have gone out for bidding."

Successful bidders will not be allowed to sell their stands for the next two years, he adds. "We only allow one person per stand and no developers will be allowed to bid. Our aim is to empower individual black businesses."

Besides Soweto, the JPC is busy with a similar exercise in Orange Farm and, eventually, will start in Ivory Park and Alexandra.

Interested people can collect tender documents for a non-refundable fee of R50 for vacant residential stands and R150 for vacant business sites. The documents can be collected at the JPC's client servicing unit on the ninth floor, Braamfontein Centre.

Sealed tenders clearly indicating the "property description" must be submitted to the information desk at the JPC offices during office hours no later than 1 October.


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