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Cash-strapped Eskom sells city building to dept, to be used for social housing

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The power utility is attempting to raise funds from the disposal of non-core immoveable property

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THE OLD Trust Bank building in Phakamile Mabija Street in Kimberley has been sold and will be converted into housing units.

Eskom has sold the Trust Bank Centre in Kimberley as well as its high rise office in Johannesburg to the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation for R76.1 million.

The buildings will be utilised for university student accommodation and social housing.

“In terms of the sale agreement, the Kimberley building will be converted into social housing units to meet the demand for residential units, while the Braamfontein building will enable the department to respond to the accommodation needs of university students in Johannesburg.”

In a statement, the power utility said that this was part of a strategy to raise funds from the disposal of non-core immoveable property.

“In total, Eskom aims to raise more than R2 billion from the sale of non-core property. These properties were previously utilised as regional offices. Staff have been moved to other locations as part of Eskom’s drive to optimise space and derive maximum value from its extensive property portfolio. The property disposal process is in line with Eskom’s unbundling process and its bid to raise capital.”

It indicated that the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation was given the first right of refusal on all properties with residential potential, in line with government policy.

“The department will therefore convert the Kimberley Trust Centre, the tallest building in the city, and the 26-storey regional office in Johannesburg into residential housing units, which will assist the department towards meeting its mandate of providing social housing.”