Tshwane mayor sells ‘white elephant’ for the benefit of Pretoria’s homeless

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has boldly gone where few South African mayors, if any, have gone before. He has just sold his multimillion-rand official mayoral residence.

POSITIVE STEPS Tshwane mayor Solly Msimang  is to auction his unused official residence  at a starting price of R5-million - which will be used for social housing.
POSITIVE STEPS Tshwane mayor Solly Msimang is to auction his unused official residence at a starting price of R5-million – which will be used for social housing.

The reason: It’s a white elephant, the sale of which will benefit Pretoria’s homeless.

With the master bedroom the size of a small township home, the house and its furnishings have to be seen to be believed.

New furniture is in every bedroom. The kitchen is fitted with sparkling white cupboards and granite counter tops, while golden chandeliers hang in the three separate living rooms. As well as selling the house, Msimanga also plans to auction off all the furniture in the house.

In the upmarket suburb of Nieuw Muckleneuk, a tour of the four-bedroom home on Sunday with Msimanga left journalists in awe.

The master bedroom boasts a walk-in cupboard and a luxurious en suite bathroom.

“This is a beautiful house,” Msimanga said. “Look at the city from where we’re standing and the beautiful garden.”

Msimanga first unveiled plans to sell the house earlier this year. The city council recently voted in favour of the sale.

The house will be auctioned, with a R5-million starting price.

Msimanga said money from the sale would be used to build social houses.

“We are hoping to build at least 40 houses.”

Msimanga says the sale was “a way of ensuring that the people benefit from the money that is theirs”.

The mayor said the house was of no use to him and described it as a white elephant.

His predecessor Kgosientso Ramokgopa had spent millions on refurbishing it. Msimanga said the controversies over the refurbishment encouraged him to decide to sell it.

“It doesn’t serve any purpose now. I’ve never even had a meeting or slept here. I am told my predecessor also did not stay here.”

– SowetanLIVE

BY BONGANI NKOSI

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