Coastal gems up for rent

Public works MEC Babalo Madikizela is calling for proposals for the redevelopment and leasing of certain state-owned properties in the Eastern Cape, including properties in scenic Morgan Bay
Public works MEC Babalo Madikizela is calling for proposals for the redevelopment and leasing of certain state-owned properties in the Eastern Cape, including properties in scenic Morgan Bay
Image: Karen van Rooyen

Are you a young aspiring hotel or guest-house owner?

If so, you could run a business with some of the best seaside views if your proposal gets the thumbs-up from the Eastern Cape department of public works.

Vast tracts of land and properties, some near Cintsa, Haga Haga and Port Alfred, are available for long-term leases, the department announced this week.

Public works MEC Babalo Madikizela is calling for proposals for the redevelopment and leasing of certain state-owned properties in the Eastern Cape.

The vacant buildings could be used for accommodation, workshops and other specialised industries.

The proposals are for 30-year leases, with the option to extend the lease by a further 20 years.

This week Madikizela said it was his intention to provide new entrants to the sector, specifically previously disadvantaged women and youth, by giving them access to properties of the state which they could lease for a prescribed period.

“Our intention is to stimulate economic growth through the development and utilisation of state-owned properties which are now sitting unoccupied and undeveloped,” he said.

Madikizela said the proposals were expected to assist the department to increase its revenue generation and better manage its immovable assets portfolio.

“There are people out there who are now misusing state-owned properties and this is our way of trying to change the department.

“We want to resuscitate the property sector and deal with the invasion and illegal occupation of government properties,” he said.

Public works MEC Babalo Madikizela outlines the plans for state-owned properties
Public works MEC Babalo Madikizela outlines the plans for state-owned properties
Image: Sisipho Zamxaka

The list of vacant properties includes the old filling station in Alice, two properties in Haga-Haga, others in Morgans Bay, Beacon Bay, Summerstrand, Jeffreys Bay, a vacant school site in Theescombe and two workshop spaces in Seymour, among several others.

Madikizela said the provincial government was spending about R100m a year on rates and the money that would come in from the rental would help the department to pay its rates bills.

Asked if there were future opportunities for the property developers to buy the land from the government later, Madikizela said there was no chance.

“We don’t want to sell state-owned land because we don’t want a situation where 50 years down the line the government owns nothing.

“We want a government that can generate its own revenue so we don’t always rely on grants from the National Treasury.

“We want a government that is self-sustainable because we pay so much on rates. We want those properties to be able to pay for themselves while generating revenue for the province.”

Asked what the rent would be like for some of the properties, particularly the ones along the coast, Madikizela said it would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

“It can’t be a general answer because some properties are in prime locations. The main aim is to introduce the new entrants to transform the sector, so it will definitely be reasonable rates because it’s targeted for a particular purpose,” he said.

He said the department would be biased towards proposals that displayed commitment to a 50% project value spend in the province in support of SMMEs and the provincial economy.

Tender documents are available on the National Treasury’s extender portal and hard copies from the department of public works for R100 per document from the Qhasana Building in Bhisho.

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