We visited Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson to get straight answers on Site B. He ran away! In 2016, the City of Cape Town lost up to R140m on the auction of Site B on the Foreshore to Growthpoint Properties at R86,5m. The City undervalued the land stating it only had rights to build a few storeys when it actually had enough rights to build a skyscraper. This is a gift of our best land to one of the wealthiest companies on the JSE. It’s been two months since we exposed the City’s botched auction. Ian Neilson was MayCo member for Finance in charge of Property Management at the time. He knows what happened. He first deflected, then went silent. To date, residents of this city have had no straight answers from him or any of the officials involved. This morning some of our members woke up early to visit Ian Neilson because we want answers. How did you lose up to R140m? What are you going to do about it? Ian Neilson told us that it was unacceptable to visit him. He told us we should make an appointment. We’ve written to him asking him to answer our questions. He refused to come outside to speak to everyone. Instead, he hid behind his walls and called the police. In the end, law enforcement, SAPS, two armed response companies and his VIP protection unit all arrived. Ten cars and five security services for one deputy mayor who doesn’t want to speak about land. Land is at the heart of transformation of our city and our society. Public land should only be sold when it cannot be used for service delivery and then the City must get a fair market price. This price was not fair. Former Mayor Patricia De Lille asked the city manager to conduct a forensic investigation. Even today, we don’t know what the terms of reference are, who will investigate this, and the deadline. This is not acceptable. Too often public officials and politicians hide behind processes in the hope that the issue will get kicked into the long grass when what happened is not hard to explain. When it comes to public land and public money, we need public accountability. We say: Reclaim this land. Reclaim all public land. Reclaim the City.