Contentious beachfront land sale off table

The sale of council-owned beachfront land at Dana Bay to a private buyer will no longer go ahead after a public outcry.

The sale of council-owned beachfront land at Dana Bay to a private buyer will no longer go ahead after a public outcry.

Published Feb 28, 2024


In a victory for opposition parties in the DA-led Mossel Bay Municipality, the sale of council-owned beachfront land at Dana Bay to a private buyer will no longer go ahead after a public outcry.

The property was reportedly to be sold for R980 000, with opposition parties saying surrounding properties were being sold for R2-R3 million.

The Mossel Bay Municipality indicated its proposal to alienate the site and after a public participation process – in which a private buyer wanted to use the site for philanthropic purposes where he and his wife would act as security guards on site from a mobile condo – will be declined.

Mossel Bay mayor Dirk Kotzé said the item will be heard at a council meeting on Thursday.

He said his DA caucus “won’t support” the item as council is set to make a final decision.

The DA, as the majority in Mossel Bay, controls the council.

Kotzé explained that the potential buyer in his application said he was going to erect a non-permanent structure which would cater to fishermen in the area where they would put up ablution facilities.

It had emerged that the potential buyer is related to a DA councillor who had exited when the item came up in council.

“At this stage the item came back to council (last week).

“Numerous comments have been received and there has been a lot of feedback from the community.

“We do appreciate this because then we know whatever decision we take that we have listened to the community as well and all their arguments.

“Sometimes we get a lot of comments and we can see that it is very emotional and may be without substance but in this case our caucus felt that there is substance and in terms of the recommendations made by the administration, we considered the public comment and will not support the sale of that land.

“Council will make the decision but we will not support it,” said Kotzé.

Patriotic Alliance proportional councillor Faizell Porter said this was a victory.

“(We) vehemently opposed and voted against the item for the following reason during council.

“Previously disadvantaged groups or persons who identify a piece of land and wish to purchase the land, must apply for the land, advertise through the local newspaper at their own cost as a form of public participation, in which case the municipality will put the land...through a tender process.

“Any land in which the previously advantaged and more importantly those linked to the DA wish to purchase, simply is brought to council and the entire DA caucus will vote in favour of it, abusing political office through political bureaucracy.

“The Patriotic Alliance sees this as a major victory in combating the oldest form of corruption through land grab.

“It is no secret how land in South Africa has been taken since the arrival of colonialism, and how the very same means of criminal acts still continue in our constitutional democracy.

“Redressing the past has always been a front on paper instead of an act of justice,” said Porter.

DA constituency head, Jaco Londt said: “Bullet point 8 in the original proposal to council specifically stated that the affected homeowners must agree.

“During the public participation process they did not agree.

“This specific matter has not served before council yet, but is on the agenda for a meeting this week.

“The recommendation after the due process was followed is that it should be rejected.”

Earlier this week, the Freedom Front+ said it was concerned that proper tender processes were not followed for the alienation and sale of the land by the municipality.

FF+’s Danie Acker said: “The FF+ will raise our concerns regarding the way the DA in Mossel Bay deals with council matters recently, that is in secret, not in an open and transparent manner and benefiting individuals not supposed to benefit from public property or money.”

Cape Times