Talks between the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements and the Paradise Park landowner have reached an impasse over the price that should be paid for the parcel of land to be used for the resettlement of existing residents.

According to Western Cape Human Settlements Minister, Tertuis Simmers, while the provincial government is prepared to offer a price between R4.8 and R9.7 million, the landowner is asking R13.3 million for the three hectares of land on the northern side of the property, of which only 2.3 hectares are useable for housing.

Simmers said that the government had employed an independent valuator to determine the price range. According to this valuation, the recommended price for the land without services is R4.8 million, while R9.7 million would be the price with services included.

The reason for the discrepancy between the provincial govenment’s figures and that of the landowner, who also employed a valuator, lies in the sale prices of the properties that are being used for comparison, said Philo Mayisela, Chief Director: Human Settlements Implementation of the Western Cape Government. The department will be meeting with the landowner in two weeks to try and come to an agreement about which types of properties should be used as the basis for determining the sale price.

However, Simmers said, “Should the landowner not come to the party, there are two development projects which my department will be leading in Hermanus – the Schulphoek Project and the Greater Hermanus Project.”

The latter is a large omnibus project which will incorporate all the provincial government’s developments in the other suburbs of Hermanus, such as Mount Pleasant. “We will accommodate the Paradise Park residents in the Greater Hermanus Project,” said Simmers.

He also confirmed that of the 168 residents of Paradise Park, 47 had chosen not to disclose their incomes and would therefore not qualify for assistance. Of the remaining 121 residents, 51 are younger than 60 years.

Although Paradise Park was originally developed as a holiday resort, some residents have over the years converted their caravans into permanent structures or built small houses.

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