IT could be another 18 months before the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality gets its hands on the Walmer Country Club land which it is eyeing to build much-needed RDP houses.
The metro said yesterday it had yet to approach the owners of the country club.
This despite municipal director of housing delivery Mvuleni Mapu saying earlier this month that the metro was in talks with the owners of the land to try to acquire the Walmer Country Club and stand 11305, situated next to it.
Thousands of Walmer township residents staged two violent protests in May and earlier this month, when they burnt down a house, blocked roads and looted several shops owned by Somalis because they wanted houses, electricity and sanitation.
Country club president Chris Roberts would not say yesterday if they would consider the offer to acquire the land.
"We haven’t been approached and we don’t want to say if we would consider it or not because it’s a committee decision.
"We really do not want to comment at this stage,” Roberts said.
Acting executive director for human settlements Kosalin Naicker said yesterday the municipality was still in the process of preparing the land acquisition.
"There are certain issues that must be resolved first. We have to first identify the land, evaluate it to see if it would be appropriate for the type of development and then we have to look at the costing,” Naicker said.
"We would also need a council resolution that says we can approach the people for the land and then appoint a conveyancer or an attorney to act on behalf of the municipality.
"The whole process of actually trying to acquire the land could take up to 18 months.”
Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile said previously that they had identified the country club land because residents had made it clear they did not want to be relocated.
The Herald’s sister publication Weekend Post reported that Wayile – who was leading the task team appointed to resolve the service delivery complaints in Walmer township – was even considering expropriating the popular country club to expand the township.
Mapu, however, said he did not believe expropriation would be necessary.
"There would be a person who will be appointed to negotiate on behalf of the municipality. I doubt it would ever get to expropriation because I’m sure the owners of the country club are eager to get rid of that piece of land.
"Expropriation could take a long time, maybe [a further] 18 months if that route is ever considered,” Mapu said.