WINDHOEK – The Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) yesterday said it has not yet approved the sale of Erindi, Namibia’s biggest privately owned game reserve to Mexican billionaire investor Alberto Baillères, who upon approval is to part with N$1.95 billion for the prime property.
Erindi is situated between Okahandja and Omaruru.
NaCC Corporate Communications Officer Dina Gowases told New Era that the commission is still scrutinising the deal and it might call in other stakeholders for consultation.
“The issue of Erindi is very sensitive, it involves land so we need to involve all stakeholders before we can take a decision,” Gowases said in a brief telephonic interview yesterday.
If approved, Baillères intends to continue Erindi’s activities in eco-conservation and the preservation of flora and fauna species that are unique and an essential part of African culture and heritage, including some rare and endangered species.
“The sale will bring benefits to all Namibians and the country. The number of jobs at Erindi will be preserved and within this number, new and better-remunerated opportunities will be created in the country, directly and indirectly,” Legal counsel for the Baillères, Koos Pretorius of ENS Africa said in a statement last month.
According to the statement, Baillères also aims to upgrade and enhance Erindi, creating a world-class attraction and protecting its wildlife by implementing international best practices in anti-poaching and conservation initiatives.
“Mr Baillères has stressed his commitment to preserve Erindi for the benefit of future generations of Namibians and the world. The intention is to turn Erindi into a flagship private game reserve, and any future profits generated from this social enterprise will be primarily reinvested in Erindi,” Pretorius said at the time.
President Hage Geingob after a State House meeting with Baillères recently said Namibians should embrace and welcome investors instead of chasing them away.
He describe Baillères as a special investor, saying he is a man of good standing. “He is a special investor. You must respect people.”
“He is not an ordinary investor. There are classes also. Investors have status of investors and he is one of them; welcome investors, don’t chase them away and then cry we don’t have jobs. How do we develop a country? You need to create a conducive environment. He doesn’t want to talk now … that’s his business, but I have a duty to talk to you and that’s what I have done,” Geingob remarked.
He added that discussions and decisions around Erindi were transparent and taken in line with collective accountability as per Cabinet rules and relevant constitutional provisions.
“As a matter of fact, and consistent with the directive, Mr Baillères, who is a status investor, has engaged the relevant line ministries and government agencies,” he said.
2019-09-13 08:01:34 9 days ago