Pretoria CBD has been turned into a monopoly game

Lihle Z Mtshali

Lihle Z Mtshali

Is City Property Administration playing monopoly in the Pretoria city property market? Tebogo Merafhe, National Rental Association's chairman , believes so.

"City Property, masquerading under the inner city regeneration programme, has bought more property than any other landlord in the city," he said.

He alleged that the property group charged exorbitant prices and increased rentals at irregular intervals, which forces other landlords in the area to raise their rentals too. His association considers the case so serious that it has lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission.

William Maphota, the Competition Commission's compliance officer, commented: "We cannot divulge anything yet as the complaint has only just been lodged and is still at the preliminary stage."

The Competition Commission receives complaints and allocates each submission to an investigator or analyst who investigates the legitimacy of the complaint. If it is found that there is contravention of the Competition Act, then the case is passed on with a recommendation to the Competition Tribunal, which is a court.

A tenant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that she had been forced to vacate the commercial property that she was renting from City Property when the rent she was paying for a 250 square metre shop shot up from R10000 to R55000 a month within a few months.

City Property Administration declined to comment on the allegations.