The North West provincial government said it will “withhold” the auctioning of its properties that are situated in the former Bophuthatswana area.
This comes after the recent announcement by the North West Housing Corporation (NWHC) about its plans to dispose of properties that fall outside the jurisdiction of the province last week.
According to the SABC, these non-core and non-strategic immovable assets consist of more than 1 800 properties, including vacant land, farms, and business properties, situated outside the North West.
“The North West provincial government is the owner of a large portfolio of assets in Gauteng, Free State and the Northern Cape which used to belong to the Bophuthatswana government,” the public broadcaster reported.
However, Corporative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA) MEC, Mmoloki Cwaile, said his department will allow relevant processes such as public participation to unfold before any assets can be disposed of.
“The MEC further said that the process is critically important as some of the properties are located within municipalities like Tshwane, Mangaung, John Taolo Gaetsewe and many others,” the statement read on Monday.
Meanwhile, the department reiterated that CoGHSTA Portfolio Committee approved issues raised by NWHC and that they were not new.
According to the department, Cwaile further advised that some of the said properties, which include land and immovable properties around Winterveld, Mabopane and Garankuwa have been invaded or illegally occupied.
“It is our view that the Gauteng government should procure that land or properties from the North West Housing Corporation and put it for good public interest and find ways to make those who occupy the residential houses of the NWHC outside of the province, to be able to acquire them at market value and become rightful owners,” said Cwaile.
The department has cited the Auditor General (AG), which stated that the mandate of the NWHC is to house the North West communities.
Their role is to also resolve the historical dilemma where most of the families who grew up in the said houses said they live in areas that “straddle” between North West, Free State and Northern Cape.
These places include Pampierstad, Kuruman, Mabopane, Winterveld, Atamelang, Ganyesa, Thabanchu and many other areas, said the department.
“The AG further added that the department should not have properties outside of the province.” –