Newlands sale 'on hold'
UPDATE: The process to have the Newlands rugby stadium sold in a ‘sealed bid’ has been put on hold.
The proverbial ‘spanner in the works‘ is former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen and his ‘Save Newlands Rugby Stadium‘ campaign.
The South African Rugby Union announced back in February that Newlands was to be placed on the market in a sealed bidding process.
Rian Oberholzer, appointed by SARU as the administrator to regularise the affairs of the Western Province Rugby Football Union – when the organisation was placed under administration in October last year – first hinted at the ‘sale’ of Newlands in a letter to the WPRFU clubs earlier this year.
The deadline for submission of non-binding offers was April 15, with submission of final binding offers on May 31.
The bidding process was well advanced – said to be nearing completion – when Claassen launched his campaign.
Claassen, captain of the Springbok team on the polemical 1981 tour of New Zealand, filed papers in June to have the Newlands precinct declared a ‘heritage site’.
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@rugby365com can now confirm that the process to sell Newlands to the highest bidder has been placed on hold.
Claassen, in an interview with @rugby365com back in June, confirmed that they had applied to the Western Cape government to declare the Newlands precinct in Cape Town’s southern suburbs a ‘heritage site’ in order to ensure the historical stadium doesn’t get demolished.
“It was submitted before the final sale contracts were signed,” Claassen said.
In an update to his followers on social media Claassen confirmed that his campaign attended an ‘online meeting’ of Heritage Western Cape on August 5.
“During this meeting, our team has presented and motivated our case that Newlands to be preserved and developed into a Living Museum to become one of the major tourist hypes in the country,” the former Bok skipper said.
“The long process has started and would take time,” Claassen said, without giving a timeline for the conclusion of the process.
The first meeting between the Heritage Committee and the SARU administrator has taken place, but there’s no indication of a timeline for the completion of the process.
In the meantime, the Fly/Dreamworld group – who holds bonds on all the WPRFU properties – are sitting back and watching interest grow on the loan of ZAR112-million they gave to WPRFU to pay off previous loans from Remgro and Investec.
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