One rac­ing club of­fered R1000/ha per month, an­other R100/ha

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - MAMELA NDAMASE COUN­CIL RE­PORTER mame­lan@dis­patch.co.za

The Ber­lin land is ru­ral land that is not even ser­viced by BCM

Lu­mumba Makaula

Ma­si­bam­bane Rac­ing Club Chair

Some star­tling dis­crep­an­cies emerged in some of Buf­falo City Metro’s lease agree­ments on Thurs­day.

Ear­lier in the week, the Dis­patch re­ported that city man­ager Andile Sih­lahla had tabled a re­port to coun­cil urg­ing the can­cel­la­tion of a 2013 res­o­lu­tion to lease about 160ha in Ber­lin to the Ma­si­bam­bane Race Club.

Lu­mumba Makaula, who chairs the club, spoke to the Daily Dis­patch this week, say­ing they had never signed the lease BCM was of­fer­ing as they felt R160,848 a month for a bar­ren piece of land was too steep.

In Au­gust last year the coun­cil agreed on a new 20-year lease with the Bor­der Mo­tor­sport Club (BMSC) for the East Lon­don Grand Prix Race Track on the West Bank.

The mo­tor race­track grounds, just un­der 118ha, were to be of­fered at a monthly rental of R11,800, ex­clud­ing VAT.

This means that while BCM pro­poses to charge the Ma­si­bam­bane Race Club about R1,000/ha, the Bor­der Mo­tor­sport Club was to be asked for R100/ha.

Spa­tial plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment port­fo­lio head Pumla Nazo-Makatala said the amount asked for the Ber­lin land was based on a land eval­u­a­tion done by BCM.

“The price de­pends on the size of the land in ques­tion. The eval­u­a­tions are done by com­pe­tent BCM work­ers. It does not mat­ter if the land is for a creche or a race­course – it de­pends on the size of the land, not build­ings on the land,” said Nazo-Makatala.

Both leases in­clude a 12.5% an­nual in­cre­ment clause.

How­ever, BMSC’s in­cre­ment is to take “the mag­ni­tude of the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ments thereof into ac­count”.

Ma­si­bam­bane wants to build a race­course, con­fer­ence cen­tre, jockey acad­emy, box­ing arena and shop­ping mall on the land. “The Ber­lin land is ru­ral land that is not even ser­viced by BCM. The pre­mier (Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle) tried to as­sist us, and or­gan­ised a meet­ing for us with the mayor.

“The mayor also tried to as­sist us but the spa­tial de­vel­op­ment and plan­ning depart­ment does not want to de­crease the amount,” said Makaula.

“We have no prob­lem with pay­ing the amount once our de­vel­op­ment is in place but we think it is un­fair to de­mand so much money im­me­di­ately upon sign­ing the lease agree­ment.”

Nazo-Makatala said the Ber­lin re­scind­ment had not yet been ap­proved as the coun­cil had re­quested miss­ing doc­u­ments from Sih­lahla’s re­port.

Al­though the Bor­der Mo­tor­sport Club’s lease agree­ment was ap­proved more than a year ago, pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Dave Kirk­man said the agree­ment was still un­signed.

“I hand de­liv­ered let­ters to the mayor and city man­ager this week ask­ing them to in­ter­vene and it has been more than a year since the coun­cil ap­proved the agree­ment.

“The holdup is with the le­gal depart­ment, they have not given us the agree­ment to sign,” said Kirk­man.

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