CAPE TOWN – The Sentinel Mountain, which caused so much controversy last year when the owners put it up for auction, has still not been sold and is still for sale.
According to a reliable source, negotiations between the owners and Sanparks are “ongoing” and the property is still quietly on the market.
Last year the Julius Buchinsky Group caused a stir when IT attempted to auction off the iconic mountain, but the auction was interrupted by a violent protest from residents of the Hangberg Fishing Village, who were angry at their “heritage” being sold off. The protest ended with the police firing teargas and rubber bullets and the villagers dispersing. No bids were taken and the property remains unsold today. The villagers who have suffered displacement in the past are scared that the mountain will be developed and they would have to move again. About 300 of them attended the protest, which took place opposite the Chapman’s Peak Hotel in Hout Bay when the auction was supposed to take place. Many bidders were scared off by the protest and the auction eventually cancelled.
The Sentinel, officially Erf 3557, is one of two privately owned pieces of land above the Hangberg Village and is bordered either side by the Table Mountain National Park. The land is owned by G&R Marine Services CC, a close corporation, which bought it in 2003 for R60 000.
Deeds records describe the Sentinel as privately owned since 1901 and the mountain has swapped hands a number of times before landing up in the possession of G&R Marine Services. The property is zoned rural, meaning one structure of limited size and various small structures can technically be built on it. There are no development rights and any potential developer wishing to develop this magnificent piece of land and one of Cape Town’s most recognised icons would need to have it rezoned. The land is unoccupied.
Although it was reported last year that the mountain had indeed been sold this was not true and the chunk of land with some of the finest views anywhere is still up for grabs.
Sanparks who bought an adjacent erf for R800 000, apparently offered R500 000 for the property, which the South African Revenue Service valued at R11m following the death of one of the partners who owned it. The offer was rejected.
Mike Slayen, SANParks property manager confirmed that Sanparks were still trying to consolidate the Sentinel into the Table Mountain National Park
Last year Slayen said the Sentinel had been earmarked as a “priority piece of conservation land” by SANParks and had made several offers to buy the Sentinel, all of which had been rejected. “SANParks will take all steps necessary to ensure that the Sentinel is incorporated into the park. We advise all prospective buyers first to speak to us.”
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