GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The Calitzdorp Spa and De Hoek resorts will be managed, for the time being, by the property owners - the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM).
This decision was taken at a special council meeting last week, following a rerun of the whole debacle that led to the withdrawal of a promising investor. A possible long-term lease agreement with the ISCC Group of Companies were nipped in the bud when the investors got cold feet.
A forensic investigation into Mayor Memory Booysen's trip to Indonesia - sponsored by the potential investors - as well as unresolved land claims were to blame.
"The previous negotiations with the investors have been cancelled on their request, based on the uncertainty and slow-moving process to finalise the land claim," said Booysen.
When asked about future plans, Booysen said the possibility to lease the resort at a future stage is not ruled out, but the land claims have to be finalised first.
He said the municipality will engage with the Lands Claims Commission to establish the validity of the claim, "because the file reflected as incomplete and the claim could not be substantiated at the time".
During the public participation process, the district municipality became aware of land-claim disputes from two families who registered their objections relating to Calitzdorp Spa. These families shared their dissatisfaction following a notice by the GRDM which emphasised the municipality's prospect to enter into a lease agreement with a successful tenderer.
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