Back to start for Cape coastal BEE project

Posted On Friday, 18 February 2005 02:00 Published by
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Big Bay will be relaunched

 Chris van Gass
Cape Correspondent

CAPE TOWN - A major black economic empowerment initiative by the Cape Town city council to sell prime coastal land on the Atlantic seaboard in Big Bay will be relaunched in the interests of "transparency and good governanc", mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo said yesterday.

The project to sell 65 highvalue and mostly sea-facing plots "out of hand", without following normal tender procedures, was flawed, a forensic investigation by auditors found.

Mfeketo said her decision to restart the process was made in the spirit of "transparency and good governance" and shifted the blame for the blunder on a council official. No action has yet been taken against the official.

Some of the 17 black developers involved are close to the African National Congress, and include Sharif Pandor, Education Minister Naledi Pandor's husband, and business executives Sam Montsi, Zitulele Combi and Sonja Gorvalla-Cummings.

The forensic investigation, conducted by the council's forensic unit, KPMG Forensic and Gobodo, found that the selection process of the black buyers was "not objective, transparent, inclusive, uniform or measurable".

This was because the council had not yet formulated a black economic empowerment policy on land sales and the 17 black developers had been "arbitrarily " identified.

Mfeketo said the council's approval of the sales had been based on a report provided by city officials. She said she would appoint a three-man committee to restart the process and report to her by the end of the month.

The council cannot face legal action for stopping the process as the transactions were effectively offers to purchase and no sales contracts had been signed.

The land in question does not form part of another controversial council land deal in Big Bay, awarded to prominent black businessman Tokyo Sexwale's Jonga Entabeni consortium.

Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

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