17 April 2007

Botswana: KRDA-Cash Bazaar Deal is Transparent - Monageng

The recent deal between the Kweneng Rural Development Association (KRDA) and Cash Bazaar Holdings was transparent and all stakeholders were consulted, says KRDA Chairman Shima Monageng. KRDA has leased part of Mafenyatla land in Molepolole to Cash Bazaar Holdings for P2 million under a 35-year lease. Cash Bazaar Holdings intends to build a shopping complex on the plot.

"We want to make the deal as transparent as possible. We are not into secret deals," Monageng says.

Under the deal, ownership of the land will revert to the KRDA after 35 years. The KRDA will then develop the property to recover their investments.

Monageng says if Cash Bazaar still wants to lease the plot further after 35 years, the agreement can be extended for another 25 years for P9 million.

The proposal was presented to the Kweneng leadership forum for approval. The forum comprises members of parliament in Kweneng and senior local government and council officials. Kgosi Kgari Sechele III is a member of the forum.

Monageng admits that not all Kweneng MPs attended the briefing; but he emphasised that all present at the leadership forum gave the deal a nod and embraced it as good business for the tribe.

The KRDA also presented the matter to a well-attended kgotla meeting where it was widely endorsed, especially as a job-creating venture.

Monageng says Cash Bazaar Holdings was approached after the board of the KRDA concluded that it would be difficult to sell five hectares of land in Molepolole for more than P15 million.

The building of the Cash Bazaar shopping center will see the largest private property development ever undertaken in Molepolole.

Monageng says his board was given the mandate to come up with a proposal to develop the Mafenyatla plot in 2005. A part of the plot used to have the famous Mafenyatla Hotel, which was gutted by fire a few years ago.

The board came up with a proposal to develop a shopping complex and a hotel, but could not raise the necessary funds. Cost projections of the project were in the region of P30 million.

Monageng says since KRDA is an association, it could not meet some of the requirements demanded by banks, such as a deposit of P3 million.

Cash Bazaar Holdings was approached with the proposal of leasing over half of the plot.

A hotel is in the second phase of the project. Monageng says a local operator has shown interest in the envisaged 50-room hotel. A local bank has also been identified to finance the project.

Manageng says the hotel project is viable, especially in view of the 2010 World Soccer Cup in South Africa.

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