CYRIL’S POSH R30m PLOT
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new luxury mansion will be built at the foot of Lion’s Head in Cape Town on a large stretch of prime land he bought for R30 million.
Ramaphosa bought two steep mountain-side plots in upper Fresnaye in 2010, apparently to build his “retirement home”, a wellplaced source told City Press.
The plots are registered to the Tshivhase Trust – Ramaphosa’s family trust – at the deeds office and have a combined size of 1 423m2.
This means the deputy president forked out R21 000 per square metre just for the land, and excavation and building are bound to cost many more millions.
However, this would probably be considered to be pocket change for Ramaphosa. He’s one of South Africa’s richest men, with a fortune estimated at $550 million (R6.8 billion) by Bloomberg last month.
The plots are some of the last undeveloped tracts of land on sea-facing Head Road, which follows the contours of the mountain and is considered to be one of the country’s poshest streets.
At the building site this week, construction staff were hard at work excavating and clearing the site. They told City Press that the billionaire politician stopped by to personally inspect their handywork just two weeks ago.
Ramaphosa was whisked up Fresnaye’s narrow streets in a two-car convoy and was accompanied by security guards when he got out for a chat with the crew at the building site.
“Yes, he was very friendly and, I mean, it’s a big honour to work for the deputy president,” said one worker, speaking from behind the wheel of a monster excavation machine.
Workers have toiled there for the past two and a half months, balancing heavy machinery on a sheer precipice to blast granite from the mountainside in order to create a flat surface where the deputy president’s new house will be built.
They are nearly finished with that, and soon a new team will arrive to dig foundations for the house.
City Press caught a glimpse of the building plans for Ramaphosa’s villa, which will have a swimming pool and a deck with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island.
“Ja, the views are amazing. Just look at Robben Island,” said one observer. “On clear days, the deputy president will be able to pinpoint Madiba’s very cell.”
Ramaphosa has a sizeable property portfolio, which includes a game farm near Bela-Bela in Limpopo and a mansion in the up-market Johannesburg suburb of Hyde Park.
He also gets exclusive use of a secure, Victorian-style mansion in Pretoria as his official residence, but City Press understands that he prefers to stay in his home in Hyde Park when he is in Gauteng.
City Press also understands that the Fresnaye property is intended as a retirement home for Ramaphosa and his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, who is mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s sister.
However, his security detail may just wreak havoc along the narrow mountain streets.
Ramaphosa’s new neighbours do not appear to be short of cash either. At a villa next door, two Bentleys could be seen parked side by side in a glass-encased garage, and a Porsche drove by while we were there.
The Ramaphosas’ neighbours on Head Road will include US television and film producer Mark Gordon. Gordon, former president of the Producers’ Guild of America, filmed parts of the Warner Brothers fantasy flick 10,000 BC in Cape Town in 2006.
Just down the road, former Springbok coach Harry Viljoen sold his biscuit-coloured mansion – called Moondance – for R110 million in 2013.
SEASCAPE The view from the construction site where Cyril Ramaphosa’s new house is being built
PICTURE PERFECT A plot of empty land in the picturesque suburb of Fresnaye costs millions