Mayoral mansion worth less due to shoddy workmanship
THE R12 million used by the former ANC administration in Tshwane for renovations that went awry at the mayoral mansion will not be recovered.
This was evidenced by the property evaluator, who put a price tag of the house, located at Muckleneuk, at R5m.
Executive mayor Solly Msimanga said given the latest valuation of the house, it would be an uphill battle to regain the millions squandered in its controversial renovations.
The renovation costs were initially estimated at R1.2m, but rose to R12m without any proper explanation.
The project had been commissioned by former mayor Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa. It was part of the R132m project, which included the city hall.
When the DA-led administration came into power last year, it uncovered a trail of corruption and poor workmanship done on the house.
The evaluation followed a pronouncement by Msimanga during the 2017 State of the Capital Address that the property would be put on sale and money made out of it used for service delivery.
Msimanga told The Star’s sister paper, the Pretoria News, that the house would soon go under the hammer and the city hoped to make more than R5m from the highest bidder.
He conceded, however, that the city would not be able to get back millions of rand spent on it.
Last year, Msimanga found that the renovations left it in a bad condition due to poor workmanship.
Cupboards, closet doors and garage doors were falling apart. Rainwater seeped in because of a badly tiled roof.
“There are leakages in the plumbing.
“If you open certain taps, you have water flowing on to the floor,” Msimanga said.
Part of the renovations was to install a video conferencing room and make the house suitable for the mayor to host diplomats.
The property has double garages, the mayor’s office space, bedrooms and a big swimming pool.
Its main gate is always locked and guarded 24 hours a day by metro police officers.
Msimanga said the money raised from the sale of the property would be injected into housing projects to benefit the poor.
Reflecting on a year since he assumed office, Msimanga said the housing issue was highly prioritised by the DA-led administration, given the recent incidents of unrest in the city by people demanding to be housed.
Msimanga said: “The constant disturbance and obstruction to this agenda is indeed
If you open certain taps, you have water flowing on to the floor
the ANC which has, since being defeated in the elections, attempted to make the delivery of the houses and infrastructure more difficult than it needs to be.”
The ANC previously denied that Ramokgopa used the house as his residence.
However, Sputla’s predecessor and aunt, Gwen Ramokgopa – also a former mayor – did use the house for residential purposes.
Msimanga has since pressed criminal charges against those implicated by a forensic investigation of the project.
CHEAP: The Tshwane mayoral mansion has been valued at just R5m.