Non-profit organisation, Communicare, has recently come under fire after the Foundation for Community Development (FCD) called them out for alleged irregularities. FCD accused the organisation of transferring stocks and lease agreements of social housing to a private entity called Good Find Properties.
This after the Salt River Housing project caused a stir among organisations and residents of Cape Town, after being halted by the DA-led municipality.
Communicare CEO, Anthea Houston, says there are more accusations than actual irregularities.
“As far as we are concerned, there is nothing irregular about the structure that we have put in place at Communicare. There are many non-profit organisations in the country that have subsidiary companies and among their subsidiaries are PTY LTD’s that are registered but wholly owned by the non-profit. All the proceeds of that (private entity) goes into the non-profit mother-body for the greater social purpose that the organisation serves,” Houston said.
Houston admits that this has not always been their way of doing business but stresses that there are many non-profit organisations that are structured in this way.
“There is nothing irregular about it in the law or our tax arrangements.”
Spokesperson for FCD, Neville Petersen, previously called Houston the “self-appointed” CEO of Good Find Properties. Houston said that she is unsure as to where FCD obtains their facts they are using to make their accusations.
“I’ve been appointed as the CEO of Communicare by the Board of Directors. Similarly, I’ve been appointed as CEO of all the subsidiary companies of Communicare by the Board. It is untrue that I am self-appointed,” she said.
Houston went on to say that Communicare has stated what the purpose of Good Find Properties is.
“We’ve shared this with the public on our website and with various stakeholders in direct engagements, including our tenants.”
Houston said that the housing stock is separated in three portfolios.
“The first is the portfolio that is subject to the regulations of the government. This is 339 units that are subject to the social housing regulations because it is funded through the governments social housing programme. Those are located at Botasig Gardens and Drommedaris project which we’ve concluded in Brooklyn. Those developments are regulated social housing and will sit in one legal entity.”
“In a separate legal entity, we will locate all the properties that are not subject to social housing regulators and where we do not intend to continue providing discounts to tenants.”
“In a third portfolio, we will continue to provide discount to tenants even in properties that are not subject to the regulations of the social housing regulatory body.”
Houston reiterated that there is no secret nor conspiracy and no need for allegations as all these facts have been shared openly.
“What we have here is a disagreement. We have the Foundation for Community Development disagreeing with the approach we’re taking.”
Salt River ward councillor, Dave Bryant, said that the City did not halt the housing project but rather referred reports for another council meeting which will take place in the beginning of December.
“The reason for that is councillors needed more information in order to apply their minds before making a decision on the report. The allegations made by the Foundation certainly weren’t part of the reason that the item was referred back,” said Bryant.
Bryant added that the allegations however, need to be tested.
“I would encourage the organisation (FCD) to please send any information through to the City so we can look into that.”
Bryant stresses that they (City) is eager for the housing project to take-off.
“It has taken us a very long time to get to this point. It is a prime area and it would be fantastic for the whole community if we can get this thing together.”
By: Zaahidah Meyer