Lindela refugee centre sold for R60m as part of Bosasa auction

05 December 2019 - 12:16
By Naledi Shange
Employees outside African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa) offices in Krugersdorp.
Image: Belinda Pheto Employees outside African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa) offices in Krugersdorp.

The Lindela Repatriation Centre, which houses undocumented migrants pending their deportation, was auctioned for R60m on Thursday.

The fierce and competitive bidding at the auction held in Krugersdorp started at R30m.

The auctioneer stated that there was currently a lease of about R1m per month on the property with the department of public works. The Krugersdorp-based centre is run by African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.

The 26.4ha property was used as a mining compound before being converted into a youth development and repatriation centre. It has a workshop, a residential development containing nine buildings and a soccer field.

Earlier this year, the DA revealed that in 2005, Bosasa received a R1bn contract to manage the facility.

The party said this was contained in a reply to a parliamentary question from home affairs, which also revealed that the contract was renewed for a further five years for an additional R500m.

Bosasa has come under the spotlight at the Zondo commission into state capture, where allegations have been made that the company enjoyed fraudulent tenders worth billions of rands from the state for more than a decade.

Thursday marks the second day of the three-day auction, where assets  including passenger and commercial vehicles, a copper plant and various commercial properties are being sold.

Park Village Auctions and Bidders Choice received the instruction from the appointed liquidators to dispose of the assets, which stem from subsidiaries of African Global/Bosasa in liquidation.

The companies in question are Global Technology Systems, Bosasa Properties, Rodcor, African Global Operations, Watson Corporate Academy, On-IT-1, Bosasa IT, Bosasa Supply Chain Management, Leading Prospect Trading 111, Bosasa Youth Development Centres and Black Rox Security Intelligence Services.

When news of African Global’s liquidation broke earlier this year, home affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza said its contract with the company involving Lindela covered the provision of security, accommodation, catering, health services, sport and library services for the deportees.

Qoza said at the time that the department was seeking an urgent meeting with Bosasa and would take legal advice.

He could not be immediately reached on Thursday to verify the government’s plan of action regarding the housing of deportees.