Tshwane Showgrounds back in the hands of the City

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After a protracted legal wrangle, the City of Tshwane is announced the re-acquisition of the Tshwane Show Grounds, a high-value capital asset that is set to enhance its asset register.

TSHWABAC is the registered owner of the property where the annual Tshwane Showgrounds (formerly Pretoria Show Grounds) used to be held. It is situated on WF Nkomo Street, west of the City.

Tshwane Head Administrator, Mr Mpho Nawa, said could have not come at the right time as it would be used as a temporary COVID-19 field hospital to accommodate moderate and mild patients.

He said the facility will be fitted with the necessary health equipment and beds to accommodate and treat the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the City.

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“This transfer come at the right time when we were battling to find a suitable facility to treat COVID-19 patients. The acquisition came as a massive relief to our efforts to augment other facilities earmarked for the Corona virus-related matters to lessen the burden on our health facilities,” he said.

The amount that the City of Tshwane would be liable for to acquire the Show Grounds back in real terms, is approximately R12 258 275.00.

The implication of the City of Tshwane having to pay the above amount means that, as a creditor, the City of Tshwane would not be paid amounts owed to it by TSHWABAC and would have to write-off these amounts.

“This, however, should be viewed against the fact that the City of Tshwane will be gaining a high-value capital asset that would enhance its asset register and that can be exploited at a great benefit for the City and its residents,” Nawa said.

The property used to belong to the City of Tshwane’s predecessor – the Pretoria Central Metropolitan Substructure. The then Council resolved to transfer the property to TSHWABAC, then known as the Northern Transvaal Chamber of Industries – free of charge.

The property was given for purposes of hosting exhibitions and diverse activities involving the community, or a portion of the community, as well as any other event which directly or indirectly related to such exhibitions and activities, with the provision that the facilities on the property or any part may be leased to third parties.

From around 2016, TSHWABAC’s finances were in a bad state and it faced creditors that were pursuing it. It thus sought to sell the property to pay off its creditors. TSHWABAC approached the City of Tshwane with a request for the City of Tshwane to consent to the sale of the property in 2017, but this was refused. TSHWABAC also owed the City of Tshwane for rates and services at the time and still does. Thus, the proceeds of the sale would have been used to pay off its debt to the City.

Based on this, the City of Tshwane then demanded that TSHWABAC hand back the property to the City, in line with the caveat in the title deed, since it was no longer using it for the intended donation but actually wanted to use the property to pay off its creditors.

The City of Tshwane also pointed out that there were activities that were being carried out on the property that were contrary to the donation stipulations such as a church.