Con­cor­dia shop­ping cen­t­re stal­led

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Voorblad -

De­ve­lo­pers of the R40-mil­li­on Con­cor­dia shop­ping cen­t­re con­fir­med re­ceipt of an e­mail from the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty t­his week in which they re­que­sted a meet­ing be­t­ween them­sel­ves and the de­ve­lo­pers.

“We are yet to sche­du­le a da­te. It’s dif­fi­cult to say w­hat will hap­pen, as we are yet to ma­ke a de­ci­si­on on w­het­her or not we will go a­he­ad with the pro­ject,” said Va­riflex CEO Ian Rau­ben­hei­mer t­his week.

Knys­na Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty ap­pro­ved the de­ve­lop­ment of the cen­t­re sub­ject to a ser­vi­ce agreement that does not sit well with the de­ve­lo­per.

The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has re­fu­sed to wai­ve the de­ve­lop­ment char­ges (aug­men­ta­ti­on fee) for bulk ser­vi­ces or the first three y­e­ars’ rates and taxes as pro­mi­sed by the pre­vi­ous ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­on. As a com­pro­mi­se, Knys­na coun­cil said they would al­low the de­ve­lop­ment char­ges to be paid in in­stal­ments o­ver 24 mont­hs and agreed to re­ba­tes on rates and ser­vi­ces o­ver the first three y­e­ars: 100% re­ba­te in y­e­ar one, 75% in y­e­ar two and 50% in the thi­rd. Af­ter t­his full rates would be pa­y­a­ble.

The mat­ter has been drag­ging on for y­e­ars fol­lo­wing agreements with the pre­vi­ous ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­on at the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, who at the ti­me ap­pro­ved no aug­men­ta­ti­on fees and “free” ser­vi­ces for a pe­ri­od of three y­e­ars.

But mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty CFO M­bu­le­lo Me­ma­ni ma­de it cle­ar that the agreement with the pre­vi­ous ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­on is in­va­lid. “The mu­ni­ci­pal ma­na­ger at the ti­me (Grant Eas­ton) had no aut­ho­ri­ty to ma­ke such agreements. On­ly coun­cil can de­ci­de, and in any ca­se, it is t­his mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty’s po­li­cy to re­quest aug­men­ta­ti­on fees and char­ge rates for ser­vi­ces,” he said.

The meet­ing is ex­pected to ta­ke pla­ce within the next two weeks, af­ter which the de­ve­lo­pers will ma­ke a fi­nal de­ci­si­on.

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