During the 84th Council meeting of the Makhado Municipality on 26 October, noticed was given of the proposed sale by private contract of three more portions of Erf 4296, situated west of the N1 between Rissik and Songozwi Street.
Date: 11 December 2017 By: Andries van Zyl
A further three portions of Louis Trichardt’s greenbelt area have been earmarked for possible sale and business development.
In the past, any attempt to develop any part of the town’s greenbelt area, also known as the town’s bird and tree sanctuary, was met with severe criticism from environmentalists. Such was also the case when well-known local businessman, Mr Rampie Gilfillan, advertised his intention to buy and develop a 2,5ha piece of land in the greenbelt area (next to the town’s cricket fields) for the development of a motor city in the beginning of 2014. After receiving two objections against his proposed development, Gilfillan was eventually given the go-ahead to continue with the development more than a year later, following a protracted environmental authorisation battle.
During the 84th Council meeting of the Makhado Municipality on 26 October, notice was given of the proposed sale by private contract of three more portions of Erf 4296, situated west of the N1 between Rissik and Songozwi Street.
In all three cases, the developers seek to buy the properties for business development. The three developers are Mr T E Netshiongolwe (executive director of Viato Projects), Mr H Musandiwa and Messrs J Gilfillan and H Muswobi. Netshiongolwe’s application is the only one indicating what kind of business development he is planning, which includes a McDonald’s restaurant.
The proposed sale is, however, far from being a done deal. As part of the proposed sale, Council attached numerous strict conditions that first have to be met by the developers. These, among others, include that such sale be advertised in the local newspaper; that an application for the subdivision of Erf 4296 be submitted for consideration and approval before the determination of market price; that the property be sold at a market related valuation determined by a professional valuer; that an application for the rezoning of the said property to be subdivided be submitted for consideration; that the Department of Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism be consulted and that comments from the department regarding the subdivision must be submitted together with a rezoning application; that the property be developed within three years from the date of signing the Deed of Sale, provided that Council may allow an extension of a further two years; and that in the event that the developer failed to complete the development as required, the property revert back to Council without compensation for any improvements on the property.
The availability of electricity remains the biggest obstacle facing the three developers. Council, as part of their conditions of sale, highlighted this aspect, stating that as the required capacity is not yet known, an estimated minimum of 100kVA supply may be required in this regard, which cannot be supplied at this stage. “Only a 50kVA capacity can be made available due to the current local capacity constraints for this request. The application will further be subject to a fully motivated written application by the client’s electrical engineer which will be submitted to Council’s senior management for their consideration in the event that more than 50kVA is required. Only a maximum of 50kVA may in any way be considered according to present status of the electricity supply scheme,” Council stated.
The developer will, among others, also be responsible for the construction of all access road. Regarding this, Council warned that there is no guarantee that access will be granted from the N1 national road by the authorities and in such instance the municipality shall not be liable for any damages suffered by any of the purchasers.
So how far has the process gone since 26 October?
Municipal spokesperson Mr Louis Bobodi on Tuesday said that notice of the intended sale of Erf 4296 was advertised in the Limpopo Mirror of 1 December. According to this advert, residents who want to object to the planned sale and proposed development have until 20 December to submit their objections.
Asked for an indication of which portions of Erf 4296 form part of the proposed sale, Bobodi said that this cannot be shown at this stage, as two of the conditions listed have to be met first. These include that the municipality will first have to appoint a professional surveyor to survey the area, conduct a proper analysis and submit a report indicating the developable area if any. “It will be after that that the municipality will go ahead with the planned sale. The process to appoint [a surveyor] has not yet started,” said Bobodi.
It the sale goes ahead, Bobodi reiterated the fact that the applicants will be responsible for the construction of access roads. Again, he said, the municipality cannot speak on behalf of the South-African National Road Agency (SANRAL).
Bobodi also confirmed that the process of rezoning has not yet started. “There are a number of things that should be done before the rezoning stage. As is indicated, subdivision must happen before rezoning,” said Bobodi. He concluded by saying that the whole process is subject to the findings of the professional team which will be appointed by the municipality.
Any person wishing to object must lodge their objection in writing to the office of the municipal manager at Private Bag X2596, Louis Trichardt, 0920 or by fax to number 015 516 5084. As stated, the closing date for objections is 20 December.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.