Dihlabeng loses out in land ‘blunder’

The Dihlabeng native municipality has bought off land price greater than R60-million since 2018, but has not obtained a cent from these gross sales. Many officers within the Free State municipality have raised purple flags, saying the method of promoting the land in varied areas close to Bethlehem has been marred by irregularities. However the municipality says no such irregularities exist. 

Two years in the past the municipality marketed requests for proposals for about two dozen pockets of land. In July 2018 it despatched letters to corporations confirming their bids to buy land had been authorised. Six months later, in January 2019, one other batch was despatched. 

One supply within the municipality mentioned the method had not concerned a full bid adjudication committee and as an alternative was run and concluded by a choose few people within the native financial improvement division. 

“The method is sort of easy and easy. You need to have a full bid analysis committee and bid adjudication committee. This was not finished,” mentioned the supply. “All of the appointment letters had been additionally issued three months after the validity interval and that ought to routinely make the appointments null and void or unlawful.” 

This isn’t the primary time the municipality has been requested concerning the irregular use of state land. In July the Mail & Guardian reported on how mayor Lindiwe Makhalema’s kin and buddies have benefited from getting tenders, jobs and a farm that they might use as their very own. 

The M&G investigation right into a raft of allegations in opposition to Makhalema steered the mayor’s household has been utilizing farmland purchased by the state to make sure the individuals who had been residing there for many years wouldn’t be evicted. 

The 1 700 hectares of Zandvallei Slabbert farm is about 10km from Bethlehem. 

Monitoring down the businesses that had been awarded the 2 dozen land bids present a puzzling image. 

Maseru Mpathi, a businessman in Dihlabeng, was the largest winner, having been awarded land price about R50-million. However the entity related to him that gained the bid will not be registered. 

Within the letter dated Eight January 2019, addressed to Mafatshe Consortium, the then appearing municipal supervisor congratulated the corporate for its profitable bid. 

The one Mafatshe Consortium registered is present process deregistration and two of its administrators had been baffled once they had been requested concerning the land sale. The M&G found that Mpathi is concerned by means of the tackle on his award letter. 

Mpathi didn’t reply to quite a few makes an attempt to make clear this. 

Municipality spokesperson Tshediso Maitse mentioned Mafatshe Consortium is an unincorporated consortium during which varied entities have pooled their assets.

Paperwork present that Mafatshe Consortium was authorised to buy land, costing R3.7-million, to construct a shopping center. The second piece of land, which incorporates 204 erven, was purchased for R46-million to construct homes. 

Sources within the municipality mentioned funds haven’t been made for the 2 tracts of land. 

A automobile rent firm, Mothebe Shuttle Providers, owned by Dorothy and David Mothibe, was awarded R4.7-million price of land, based on a letter dated July 2018. 

“The promoting of portion of the farm Pretoriuskloof 152 [in] Bethlehem for growing a tourism centre consisting of a quick meals outlet, craft centre, restaurant, play park or enterprise at a purchase order worth of R2 700 00zero.00,” reads the letter congratulating them.

Dorothy Mothibe mentioned she didn’t know something concerning the enterprise and referred the M&G to her husband, who, for 2 weeks, has failed to reply to questions on his firm’s experience and his relationship with the municipality. 

The buying worth has additionally not been paid to the municipality.

A second supply mentioned these “blunders” expose that the municipality didn’t train due diligence.

One other firm, TVN Transport, was bought a portion of a farm for R1.Eight-million to construct a truck cease with a petroleum station, inclusive of a comfort retailer, leisure centre, financial institution services and a one-stop automotive service park.

Maitse mentioned: “Profitable bidders got a sure time frame inside which to make full funds and failure to which the provide will routinely be withdrawn. The interval has not but lapsed.”

However insiders mentioned no time interval was acknowledged within the award letters. 

The M&G contacted two different corporations that gained their bids. 

Zimport was awarded land price R1.Eight-million. However, based on the director, Mokoti Zim, the land continues to be demarcated farmland and the municipality has not performed a research as but.

Nqole Arthur, who owns Manna Holdings, mentioned he has not paid the R1.9-million to the municipality as a result of the municipality has didn’t zone the world for a shopping center. Maitse now says that zoning is the duty of the customer.