Member of the Western Cape provincial legislature Brett Herron Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Newcomer opposition party GOOD said on Friday its member of the Western Cape provincial legislature Brett Herron had asked the office of the Public Protector in Cape Town to probe whether the sale of a prime piece of property in the central business district to Growthpoint Properties was above board.

Civil society organisations opposed to the sale have alleged that Growthpoint paid approximately R140 million less than the property was worth when it bought a site on Lower Long Street in 2016, GOOD said in a statement.

It said the Cape Town council had this week refused to release a forensic report on the matter to the public.

“If profits are made from the sale of valuable assets belonging to the state those profits must accrue to the citizens, not private companies," Herron said.

"In this instance, instead of the developer scoring a walloping R140 million discount, the city could have used the additional cash to build 1,000 fully subsidised homes, several new libraries, or to install better lighting and surveillance equipment in communities that bear the brunt of gangsterism and crime."

He said besides determining the legality of the deal process, GOOD hoped the Public Protector's office was able to establish the true nature of the relationship between the Democratic Alliance and the property company.

The DA controls Western Cape province and has also, since 2016 municipal elections, run Johannesburg municipality in collaboration with other parties.

GOOD leader Patricia de Lille left the DA last year.

In April, GOOD asked the City of Johannesburg’s integrity commissioner to investigate what it said was about R200 million in annual rates discounts to Growthpoint.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba demanded that Herron retract what he called libelous accusations that the discounts related to the mayor's former links with the property company.

African News Agency/ANA