City of Joburg on mission to resolve Pirates Club lease dispute

City of Johannesburg MMC for economic development Leah Knott says they intend to find a solution to a lease dispute with Pirates Club.

The chairperson of Pirates Club, Lloyde Hanson, has confirmed that the City of Joburg plans to cancel its lease because the club has allowed WastePreneurs to operate on the property.

WastePreneurs is a non-profit initiative aimed at uplifting the informal waste collectors that operate throughout Johannesburg to try and improve their quality of life.

Hanson says when they got a new lease with the council they made sure that they would be able to provide community-service facilities.

He says the club had received legal advice when they went ahead with the project.

We felt that we weren't in breach of our lease and we were happy for them to operate. That went well for two years. During last year we received a letter out of the blue advising us that the club was in breach of its lease and would have to evict WastePreneurs within 30 days and failing that we would fail closure.

Lloyde Hanson, Chairperson - Pirates Club

According to reports, the City of Joburg is alleging that the club did not ask for permission and is guilty of subletting the property which was not part of the contract.

Hanson has however refuted this.

The dispute process has been ignored and then in April this year we got a letter saying your lease is cancelled.

Lloyde Hanson, Chairperson - Pirates Club

He says there have been engagements with Knott and other stakeholders.

There were a few subsequent meetings with WastePreneurs, Pikitup and others tasked with trying to find a solution this year. WastePreneurs went and applied formally in August this year to the Johannesburg Property Company to ask: 'Can we be there?' The response was there is no point in applying, the lease has been cancelled and the property has been prepared to go to tender.

Lloyde Hanson, Chairperson - Pirates Club

Hanson says they are continuing with the dispute-resolution process.

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Knott says they have been engaging with WastePreneurs and Hanson for over a year.

I met with WastePreneurs over a year ago and advised them.... whether it is for financial or non financial gain, you cannot sublet a property, we are bound by very strict requirements so we advised them that we would guide them in the right direction.

Leah Knott, MMC for Economic Development - City of Joburg

We have said to them we support the initiative...we will assist them where we can. We have been lenient in terms of how we have related to them.

Leah Knott, MMC for Economic Development - City of Joburg

We are not kicking them off the property, we are giving them additional days. We have given them an additional 60 days to remedy the breach in their lease.

Leah Knott, MMC for Economic Development - City of Joburg

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