The new public protector says she will leave the dispute over the state capture report prepared by h.
In response to your article "Celeb's business venture collapses", February 27.
The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) herewith wishes to correct several factual inaccuracies and allegations in your article, which impugns our good name and public standing.
In May 2005 the JDA finalised negotiations with Bobrom, trading as Capello's Restaurant and Bar. The business is owned by Bob Mabena and Brian Baloyi.
The JDA immediately demonstrated its commitment to helping the commercial viability of this venture by consenting to write-off a substantial amount in rental arrears owed by Bobrom. Bobrom then undertook to pay rentals due by them at monthly intervals.
However, much to our dismay, not even a single month's rental was ever forthcoming from Bobrom, despite several reminders and a significant effort by the property managers, Akhona Broll.
Consequently, the JDA was forced to apply normal business rules and we instituted legal action for the recovery of the outstanding rental.
The Newtown Capello's Restaurant is due to be opened again shortly, at the same rental, under new ownership and management after having gone through an upgrade and revamp which promises a more enticing dining and entertainment experience.
This is indicative of a strong belief in the Newtown area and a reflection on the commitment of one of South Africa's strongest emerging franchise brands to the area.
We regard the matter between the JDA and the previous incumbents as closed.
We wish to point out that the primary responsibility of marketing businesses rests on the individual business tenants of Newtown and this is common knowledge.
The redevelopment of Newtown includes the upgrading of infrastructure, the programming of regular public events and the establishment of the Newtown Improvement District, which operates further forums, including the Commercial Tenants' Forum and the Newtown website, which is in the public realm.
All these measures, as well as development plans that are in the process of being implemented, are being done to boost the Newtown precinct and the businesses operating in the area.
The Newtown area is indeed thriving and a new establishment, Sophia Bar Lounge, has just opened.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite the public to come and experience this world-class cultural precinct for themselves.
Lael BethlehemChief executive JohannesburgDevelopment Agency