Today's Big Stories

Lobby groups accuse Zille's adviser of foul play in Sea Point property row

Gary Fisher, former Western Cape Public Works head and adviser to premier Helen Zille, has been accused of having conflicting interests in the controversial private sale of the Tafelberg school site.

It's alleged that Fisher oversaw the disposal of the Tafelberg school site to the private sector during his tenure, but Zille has denied that he was directly involved in the project.

Thereafter, Fisher's property investment company, Capital Gro, acquired two properties in the vicinity of the site prior to the publication of the tender.

There is, seemingly, a situation where we have someone playing both player and referee in a property market that is hotter than anywhere else in the country.

Gavin Silber, Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre researcher

Legal representative for lobby group Reclaim the City, Gavin Silber, says Fisher was a key player when the department launched the regeneration project in 2012.

Silber claims that Fisher dissuaded key stakeholders who were in favour of transforming the Tafelberg site into social housing through the expression of interest (EOI) application processes.

We have evidence that Mr Fisher discouraged social housing institutions from investing in the site.

Gavin Silber, Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre researcher

Meanwhile, Fisher says his involvement in the tender process came to an end when he left the Public Works department in 2014.

He says he has always remained transparent by declaring his interests to the department, and has defended his Sea Point property investment.

I entered public service to make a difference, not to make a gain.

Gary Fisher, former Western Cape Public Works head

Silber says the private sale of the site needs to be stopped amid these latest allegations.

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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