ECDC’s move to dispose its residential housing stand-alone units as its Property Development and Modernisation Strategy picks up steam
The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) Property Development and Modernisation Strategy implementation is picking up steam moving towards shaping the Corporation’s portfolio into a modern, well managed and self-sustaining real estate business. As part of this strategy, the Corporation has committed to a multi-pronged approach to transform its property portfolio into a financially viable enterprise. The strategy boasts three pillars with the first pillar entailing the rationalising of the portfolio to improve productivity. Part of the rationalisation process entails the release of non-core assets. In keeping with this strategy, the ECDC has commenced with the disposal of residential stand-alone housing units as well as vacant residential sites that are below two thousand square meters. These are mostly concentrated around the Mthatha and Butterworth areas.
Interested tenants in good standing are thus invited to obtain an Offer to Purchase for the residential houses they are renting from both the Mthatha and Butterworth ECDC offices. Tenants in good standing shall be offered the “right of first refusal” to purchase their rented stand-alone residential housing sites. All properties subject to disposal shall be sold at fair market value in keeping with the public sector prescripts. Tenants who are behind in rent are also invited to visit the ECDC offices to make payment arrangements so they may be in a position to qualify for the opportunity to buy and own a house they have been renting for years. Details of the disposal terms are available at ECDC offices or on request at firstname.lastname@example.org. In concluding a disposal transaction, the ECDC will apply its policies and consider circumstances of each transaction on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the condition of the property and other relevant factors such as maintenance undertaken by the tenant.
The second pillar of the strategy relates mainly to the commercial portfolio and entails the transformation of the portfolio to improve efficiency, to attract investments, and create new property ownership patterns. In this regard, the ECDC intends leveraging private sector investments through commercial joint ventures. Calls for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for triple net long term development leases have been issued for eight high potential properties. Of the eight properties, two relating to the Windsor Hotel and Development House in Mthatha are still open for submission and will close off on 27 February 2022. Documents for the bid can be obtained from the ECDC Website under tenders at www.ecdc.co.za. A compulsory briefing will be taking place on 25 January 2022 to allow bidders to obtain clarity on the bid specifications.
The third pillar relates largely to the industrial property portfolio which entails investing for growth. A key intervention in this area is the Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme that is targeted mostly at the ECDC owned Industrial Parks. These are the Dimbaza and Fort Jackson Industrial Parks both located in Buffalo City, the Vulindlela Industrial Park at Mthatha, and the Ibika Industrial Park in Mnquma Local Municipality. Investments in these parks shall include bulk services infrastructure, security infrastructure, as well as top structure upgrades and refurbishments. Works have commenced in Dimbaza and Vulindlela industrial parks. Dovetailing the infrastructure investments is investment promotion and attraction work intended at securing local and foreign direct investments and tenants into these parks to drive localisation, manufacturing, and job creation as part of the province’s economic recovery plan.
The Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme is implemented in partnership with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) as part of the Industrial Development Strategy which, inter alia, seeks to accelerate economic and industrial development by investing in infrastructure that stands to attract local and foreign investments. The ECDC has also partnered with the Buffalo City Metro for advancing development efforts around the centres located within the Metro. Central to the industrial parks development is the provincial Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) which through the economic stimulus fund, is funding internal road upgrades, bulk electrical works and wastewater treatment works for the Dimbaza industrial parks.
Along the residential disposal process, the ECDC is working on improving compliance within its leasehold portfolio. This process involves the normalisation of unauthorised tenants who for one reason or the other, occupy an ECDC property without having entered into a lease agreement. The ECDC invites these occupants to participate in the leasehold normalisation process by visiting the ECDC offices whereat details of the normalisation process shall be discussed. These arrangements will be subject to ECDC’s leasehold policies which include payment of a deposit of one month and the undertaking of background checks. Lease rental for affected properties is based on the market value of the property having regard to local demand for the property class and the conditions of the property. In this process, the ECDC will consider the circumstances of each transaction on a case-by-case basis.
It is in the interest of the ECDC and the Province to utilize public property portfolio to transform ownership patterns, advance localisation and manufacturing, stimulate trade, and strengthen support for SMMEs. As we enter this phase of the Corporation’s efforts, we call on all interested individuals and business community to work with us in making these opportunities a reality.
Issued by: Eastern Cape Development Corporation