MOSSEL BAY NEWS - Mossel Bay Waterfront, the company which occupies the former Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club (MBYBC) premises, has received a letter from Transnet National Ports Authority, saying it wishes to terminate the lease agreement with the company.
Mossel Bay Moorings, which consists of former MBYBC members, told the Mossel Bay Advertiser this week: "The premises should now be handed back to the MBYBC, which is a registered public benefit and non-profit organisation that served the community with distinction for many years."
The Mossel Bay Advertiser regularly received letters from the community querying the choice of tenant, since the eviction of the MBYBC and awarding of the rental contract to a private company.
These were submitted for comment to Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and reported on.
This week, following an online Moneyweb article by Adriaan Kruger, Albe Durand of the Mossel Bay Waterfront (Pty) Ltd, confirmed to the Advertiser on enquiry, that a letter from TNPA had been received indicating that TNPA wanted to terminate the Mossel Bay Waterfront's lease.
Durand insists his intent was to make the premises more accessible to the community.
The Moneyweb article claims that TNPA has lost R3.6 million in rent in the past two and a half years that Durand's company has been the tenant.
Durand largely blames a still unresolved issue regarding the rental fees for the yacht moorings, for the unpaid rent problem.
He says this loss of income meant he could not pay rent, although he concedes that withholding rent is not right.
Durand claims he extended a hand of friendship from the start and never intended for the members of the former MBYBC, nor the sailors to leave the premises, but he says he cannot be expected to pay mooring fees on their behalf. In their comment, Mossel Bay Moorings told the Advertiser the mooring owners were currently paying mooring fees into a holding account of a non-profit company established in 2019 which has the support of the majority of mooring users.
"We attempted to find a solution for the biased and unreasonable mooring users' agreement of the Mossel Bay Waterfront via several email communications sent to TNPA and MBWF, with no response from both parties. A detailed paper trail of the communications can be supplied on request," a Mossel Bay Moorings spokesperson said.
Durand insists Mossel Bay Waterfront is a BEE company.
"We had a meeting with the lady and she owns 52% of shares, whereas Verna owns 48%. We are also making her a director of the company." Verna Durand is indicated as the Waterfront's owner.
Enquiries were directed by the Advertiser to TNPA on Monday, 7 June. TNPA acknowledged receiving the communication and said it would respond in due course. At the time of going to press, the response had not yet been received
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