Notice to vacate has been issued on an unlawful BNG sale
On June 15 2022, the Provincial Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers, advised that a beneficiary of the Highbury Park Housing Project in Kuilsriver, had been issued with a notice to vacate her free and subsidised unit, following the unlawful sale of the unit.
The notice serves to notify the beneficiaries, that they are in breach of the Agreement of Sale entered into with the Department of Human Settlements, project constructions company in February 2020.
The Agreement expressly prohibits the sale of the property within the eight year period of receiving it, without first offering the property to the Department in line of section 10.A of the Housing Act.
This action by Minister Simmers follows months of continued investigations into the alleged syndicate operating in the community. The Department is in possession of a paper trail that outlines the roles of individuals who conspired in this unlawful sale, which includes the beneficiaries, conveyancing attorney’s and estate agents. It is less than 3 years since the first beneficiaries took occupancy at Highbury Park Housing Project, with the beneficiaries having moved into their unit in early 2020.
Minister Simmers said; “This is a result of receiving numerous reports from concerned community members regarding the suspected illegal sales of BNG units in this area at a time when many citizens are desperately longing for a housing opportunity. Earlier in March, I visited the area to ascertain the validity of these complaints, and it was rather heartbreaking to learn that some of the houses were vacated within days of beneficiaries taking occupancy thereof. I had promised the community that the Department will take remedial steps to take back these illegally sold houses under the guidance of our legal services. The specific beneficiaries have been served with the notification offering them 14 days to respond, after which they will have to vacate the premises. We thank the community members who alerted the department and law enforcement agencies of these ongoing unscrupulous activities.
It is understood that these individuals, advertised the property on various platforms including Social Media. Despite numerous efforts by the department to discourage the sale, the house was sold for a nominal fee of R450 000 with a R110 000 deposit paid upfront. Further investigations are underway to determine if the conduct forms part of a larger syndicated network that seems to be involved in the selling of government subsidized housing. It is worth noting that, the incumbent occupiers who illegally purchased the house will need to institute a civil lawsuit against the beneficiaries.
“There are currently 568 000 people registered on the Western Cape Housing Demand Database (WCHDD), and we therefore cannot allow for such unscrupulous behaviour to go unpunished given the limited stock of free government housing. We are hoping that through this action, other beneficiaries will be discouraged from part-taking in similar unlawful transactions. Thus, I call on our citizens to not fall prey of these get rich- quick schemes at the detriment of our government infrastructure and communities” concluded Simmers.