Is President Cyril Ramaphosa going to move into a mansion that is taking shape on the slopes of Fresnaye with magnificent views of Cape Town?
The presidency is not saying.
What we do know is that Ramaphosa is now entitled to move into the official residence of the president‚ a stately home known as Genadendal that was built in the 18th century.
But could he be moving into a multi-storey mansion being built in upper Fresnaye where he purchased two properties in 2010? The presidency‚ reacting to reports in 2015 that he was building a mansion on the properties‚ for which he paid R30-million‚ said Ramaphosa had bought the land “through a loan secured against a different property under his family’s Tshivhase Trust”.
Ramaphosa‚ in his declaration of interests for 2016/17 to Parliament‚ disclosed his ownership or interest in 32 properties – mostly townhouses in Johannesburg. He also declared two flats in Cape Town. Under trusts‚ he is listed as a beneficiary and trustee of the Tshivhase Trust.
Deeds office records show two properties in the street where Ramaphosa invested as being purchased in 2010 for R30-million‚ having a bond and being associated with a trust. The City of Cape Town’s valuation roll listed the trust as the owners of two adjacent properties in Fresnaye.
On Friday‚ Ramaphosa’s spokesman Tyrone Seale declined to comment on the president’s living arrangements and his property ownership.
But Ramaphosa has been known to opt for private‚ rather than state‚ accommodation. City Press reported in 2014 that Ramaphosa declined to move into the official residence of the deputy president in Pretoria. Ronnie Mamoepa‚ his spokesman at the time‚ said he preferred his private home because his wife and “some of their four children” lived there.
When TimesLIVE visited Fresnaye this week people were hard at work building a large mansion. Vehicles for a flooring and electrical installation company were parked near to the building. The owner of a flooring company would only say‚[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“We are working in the vicinity.”
The home is perched on the slopes of Lion’s Head‚ has a breath-taking view of the Atlantic Ocean and‚ according to property research firm Lightstone‚ the suburb has an adult population of just 2[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]366.
Fresnaye is on the doorstep of amenities such as the Clifton police station‚ beaches‚ shopping malls and even a blood donation centre.
If Ramaphosa opts for Genadendal‚ in the suburb of Newlands‚ he could entertain about 70 guests – who may eat off Villeroy & Boch crockery bearing the state emblem – in his dining room.
The presidency’s website reports that the residence was ”originally used as a barn for storing grain”. Later it was converted into a residence and christened Westbrook. The Georgian/Victorian style home‚ with its art collections‚ was named Genadendal in 1995.
Government homes earmarked for the use of the president include the grand Mahlamba Ndlopfu – Shangaan for “the new dawn”[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]– in Pretoria.
There is a third home in Durban known as Dr John L Dube House.
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