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I am a qualified Attorney. I specialise in Property Law, Commercial Law, Corporate Law and Trusts.
 
Please visit our website at www.prop-law.co.za for more details.
 
I am an elected Committee Member of the Property Committee of the Association of Pretoria Attorneys and through my involvement, I like to ensure that I am constantly at the "sharp-end" of Conveyancing Practice.

I am the elected Chairman on the Gauteng Council of SAPOA. The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is the biggest and most influential institution in the property industry. SAPOA members control about 90% of commercial property in SA, with a combined portfolio in excess of R150 Billion (about $22 Billion). I am also on the National Council and the National Legal Committee of SAPOA.
 
Member of the Institute of Directors South Africa and Member of the Sirdar Governance Panel.

02 July 2014

Collapsed power station part of planned R1 billion property development

Cable theft is the scourge of our society (and strikes, unemployment, lack of skills, poor education, etc. etc.) ... but let me just focus on cable theft for the moment.

If you read the article from the Star newspaper below, you will come across a quote that:

'To stem the rampant theft of the structural steel, the developer has had the site fenced off four times, but the fencing has consistently been stolen, including electrified fencing. The developer has made all reasonable efforts to secure the site.'
Muthwa said about 25 arrests had been made over the years.

When you consider the vast number of power failures that Eskom has recently blamed on cable theft, the situation is clearly untenable and something must be done.

In my opinion, only a massive clamp-down on scrap metal dealers can alleviate the problem.  If there is no market to sell the cables, then there is no incentive for anyone to steal them... is there?

Pleased to see our new colleague at the Gauteng Provincial Council of SAPOA so extensively quoted in the Article ... Kululwa Muthwa, the chief operating officer of the Joburg Property Company (JPC)


Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney














Collapsed power station part of planned R1 billion property development

The death of at least four people following the collapse of the old Orlando power station in Soweto on Wednesday should never have occurred.

Six others were injured, leading to rescue attempts over several days following the collapse.

The site as it looks today.
The power station should by now have been a thriving R1 billion business centre, but instead it's a disastrous, dangerous site scheduled for demolition.

Today, Joburg and provincial authorities were to meet to discuss the building's demolition, while it seems the developers still want to push ahead with their plans for the area.

The power station collapsed last week after ongoing looting of the structural steel by scrap metal scavengers. The site is owned by the City of Joburg.

'The power station is a heritage building, and is protected by the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency (PHRA). Any intended demolition to heritage stock can only be done in consultation with the agency,' Kululwa Muthwa, the chief operating officer of the Joburg Property Company (JPC), explained.

'The remaining structure is at a potential risk of further collapse. However, a structural investigation will be conducted to confirm this.'

Muthwa said a meeting was scheduled for today between the JPC and the agency, the developer and a structural engineer to assess the structural integrity of the remaining structure.

'The developer has secured the site to minimise the risk of illegal entry to the site,' Muthwa said.

'The demolition can only proceed on obtaining permission from PHRA, and will be done immediately thereafter,' he added.


An Artist's impression of the Development

The Orlando power station was supposed to have been part of a huge development, supported by the council, but so far it hasn't got going.

The developer is the Soweto Power Station Mall (SPSM), which would not comment.

But yesterday there were hints that the developers still want the project to go ahead.

A source close to the developers said the plans for phase one were with the council for planning approval, and there were 'immediate plans' to build a community centre.

The developers hoped to build 'something special', he said, and hoped to tackle the crucial problem of job creation - in the construction and running of the centre.

The developers reportedly hope to rebuild after last week's tragedy.

Muthwa said the power station was decommissioned in 1998 and that the JPC had been trying for a decade to facilitate its redevelopment as part of a bigger development project.

The Star's archives record the JPC's announcement in March 2005 of the Orlando Ekhaya project, which was supposed to include 'shopping centres, business nodes, conferencing and recreational facilities, entertainment, specialist shops, hotels and waterfront activities'.

It was also supposed to include the power station, the Orlando cooling towers, the Orlando Dam and the Vista conservation area. An estimated investment of about R400 million had been planned.

A year later, the development was estimated at about R1bn.

At the time, it was reported that the power station part would be developed by a consortium.

In February 2006, the then Joburg mayor, Amos Masondo, symbolically turned the first sod in the new development, which was mentioned in his State of the City address a few weeks later and again the following year.

By 2008, there were hints of problems, with the JPC admitting the development was behind schedule because of difficulty getting funding approved.

By 2010, only R322m of the required R1bn had been raised, with the global economic crunch blamed.

Muthwa said that as part of the development plan, the building was handed over to the SPSM in January 2012.

'To stem the rampant theft of the structural steel, the developer has had the site fenced off four times, but the fencing has consistently been stolen, including electrified fencing. The developer has made all reasonable efforts to secure the site.'

Muthwa said about 25 arrests had been made over the years.

The Star

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