HOUSE

CityPress - - News -

If you have at least R5 mil­lion, want to live within jog­ging dis­tance of the Union Build­ings and don’t mind diplo­mat neigh­bours throw­ing par­ties, then this is the prop­erty for you.

Tsh­wane Mayor Solly Msi­mang de­cided to auc­tion off the may­oral man­sion and use the pro­ceeds to build low­cost gov­ern­ment houses for the poor.

Even though it’s not the smartest house on the block, High Street Auc­tions’ Joff Van Ree­nen is thrilled to be the first auc­tion­eer in the coun­try to flog a may­oral res­i­dence.

“When they phoned us and asked us to auc­tion this prop­erty, I im­me­di­ately said yes.

“It’s dif­fer­ent and unique be­cause it’s the only of­fi­cial res­i­dence that has ever been auc­tioned in this coun­try. This is a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity.”

The en­quiries are al­ready stream­ing in, Van Ree­nen said.

What the man­sion lacks in style, it makes up for in lo­ca­tion.

“We have re­ceived phone calls from em­bassies. Prob­a­bly about 40% of the calls were from pro­fes­sional per­sons, 40% from em­bassies and 20% from home own­ers. It’s just such a sought-af­ter area,” Van Ree­nen said.

“It’s not as if the prop­erty is in Cen­tu­rion. It’s in Muck­leneuk. All you have in this place are em­bassies and the homes of con­suls-gen­eral. It’s a very po­lit­i­cal sub­urb. They all want to be close to the Union Build­ings,” Van Ree­nen ex­plained.

“Pre­to­ria has the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of em­bassies of any place in the world,” he added.

Van Ree­nen has full con­fi­dence that the Tsh­wane metro’s hopes that the prop­erty will sell for around R5 mil­lion will be re­alised.

“Mar­ket forces will di­rectly in­flu­ence the pur­chase price. The buy­ers will have to de­cide and, at the end of the day, the mayor wants to use the money for a good cause, but he also wants to get the most he pos­si­bly can for the as­set.”

The Tsh­wane metro bought the house for R1.9 mil­lion (ex­clud­ing trans­fer costs) in 2001.

“From an as­set point of view, it’s a good in­vest­ment,” Van Ree­nen said.

Van Ree­nen de­clined to dis­cuss the R12 mil­lion the city’s pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion al­legedly spent on up­grades to the man­sion, and said: “The foren­sic au­dit is still

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