Govt rubbishes golden visa golf estate links

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Govt rubbishes golden visa golf estate links

WALVIS BAY – Both home affairs and the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board distanced themselves from reports suggesting the government teamed up with an upmarket golf estate development to entice international investment in the estate in exchange for residency.

Various international news outlets have published reports in recent weeks, saying Namibia is the world’s latest investment migration option offering permanent residency permits (PRPs) to boost economic growth and diversify the country’s economy.

The President’s Links Estate is an upmarket estate planned for Walvis Bay, and will be situated on the edge of the Dorob National Park on about 148 hectares of prime land.

It is believed to be owned by Pieter Fox, a developer and owner of Fox Designs, Andrew van der Westhuizen of Van der Westhuizen Town Planning and Properties, and Wiseman Molatzi, owner of Proprietors Business Solutions CC.

Over 745 luxurious housing units, a golf course and other state-of-the-art amenities are planned for the development.

Their website shows that a three-bedroom housing unit comes at a N$5.9 million price tag, while others cost up to N$13 million.

Their real estate partner, Henly and Partners, states on their website that to qualify for residence, one is required to purchase property of about US$316 000 at the estate.

A circulating presentation by the estate agency also informs that they developed a Namibian Permanent Residence Investment Scheme (NPRIS) to generate a significant positive inflow of capital into the country.

“The NPRIS entails the issuing of PRPs to foreign citizens in exchange for property inside an NPRIS-approved development. The conditions of the PRP will be strict, controlled and meet all current gazetted regulations,” the presentation continues.

One of the partners told New Era when contacted yesterday that that specific information is not relevant anymore. “This information is very outdated,” Andrew van Schalkwyk said.


No agreement

Meanwhile, executive director of home affairs Ettiene Maritz yesterday rejected the scheme, saying that they never agreed to collaborate or partner with any outside entity for PRPs in exchange for investments. 

He stated that they have indeed been made aware of the programme. 

“That one is not true. It should be noted and made categorically clear that the ministry does not favour any particular company, nor does it endorse particular projects. We have never entered into any agreement, and will never link our employment permits or residency permits to investments. An agreement needs to be signed before anything like that can happen. So, it is really misinformation at the moment. We will investigate how this happened,” Maritz told New Era telephonically.

The ministry also issued a statement yesterday to say they welcome investments, but will issue qualifying foreign investors with relevant permits in line with the national laws and procedures set out in the relevant regulations.


Follow the law

In a statement released by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, executive director Nangula Uaandja said the country is looking into the residence-by-investment (RBI) programmes (also known as golden visa programmes). 

These programmes have become increasingly popular across the world as ways to attract rich investors into a country, and are used by countries such as Mauritius, she noted.

“Globally, more than 100 countries have targeted these programmes, with most regimes offering these investors permanent residence, allowing them to live, work and invest in a country, in accordance with the conditions set by each country,” Uaandja said.

She said the President’s Link Estate sought the assistance of the board with the provision of several investor services, in line with its mandate to render investment facilitation services to potential investors.

The project promoters further requested an update, and have been following up on the status of the golden visa programme. 

“The total investment value of the golf estate is set to be over N$4 billion, will create over 2 500 temporary jobs, 1 300 permanent jobs, and also build over 700 low-cost houses for Namibians,” she added.

“However, the NIPDB has advised the project promoters to attract investors based on the existing laws and regulations as applied by the line ministry in the absence of an approved golden visa programme, and while the modalities of the type of residency are still being worked through”.