Athletics clubs want upgrade of Bellville Velodrome to be fast-tracked
The chairperson of the Bellville Athletics club, Morris Kaplan, said: “The sports clubs using the velodrome and athletics track have decided to work with the City to apply pressure on the developer to get started asap.
“The contract states that the premises can only change hands once all plans are approved. We will be working with the City’s department of parks and recreation to see if they will be able to find alternative accommodation for the athletes and users in the meantime, while the building process of three years takes place.
“We will only revert to formal litigation once we feel that we are not protected as a community in any way by either the developer or the City.”
According to the City, the velodrome and athletics stadium will be leased to and managed by the developer for an initial period of 30 years, with two renewal options for an additional 15 years each.
The tender submitted by Devmet Property Developments (Pty) Ltd and approved by the City contained the lease, upgrade and management of the facility and the purchase and development of vacant land surrounding the facility for retail, office, hotel, conference and residential development.
The City was in August last year prompted to commence with a public participation process after Bellville residents called to preserve the building.
Only 270 comments were received. Devmet, which acquired the property, had been in a dispute with the City after it was required to pay R25m 18 months before the start of trading.
Mayco member for community and health Zahid Badroodien put forward a recommendation last month to the council for a task team of officials from the property management and the parks and recreation departments to be established within 30 days, to lead the engagements about finding alternative accommodation.
Western Province High Schools Athletics chairperson Deon Wertheim said: “This administration has inherited a legal monstrosity which they find difficult to extricate themselves from. If they have nothing to hide about this deal, then they should refer it to the public protector for investigation.”@MarvinCharles17