The Herald (Harare)

28 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Council Terminates Augur Joint Venture

Harare City Council has terminated its joint venture with Augur Investments under Sunshine Properties after the latter failed to implement the projects within the agreed time frame.

Council had already transferred land for the projects, but says it would reverse this once the ventures are dissolved.

Chairperson of the city's business committee Councillor Herbert Gomba said councillors have instructed city officials who sit on the Sunshine Holdings board to implement the "agreed position".

"In coming up with the position, we considered that these deals were signed between 2008 and 2010 and land had already been transferred to Augur, but the company is failing to implement the projects.

"We cannot have a situation where a company fails to implement projects when land has already been transferred. We want to create jobs for our people so we will look for other able partners who are willing to partner council and deliver," he said.

Under the joint venture between Harare City Council and Augur Investments the city was supposed to provide land for Augur to construct a multi-million-dollar regional bus terminus, truck inn, bonded warehouse and a clearing house near the Mbudzi roundabout.

The commercial centre was supposed to have an upmarket and low end of market features modelled alongside Central Park Station in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Construction was supposed to be completed in five years after the deal was signed between 2008 and 2010. Augur Investments was also expected to construct 800 upmarket houses and a hotel at the Warren Hills Golf Course but up to now nothing has materialised.

Harare and Augur Investments formed a joint venture company, Sunshine Properties to manage the investments.

The shareholding structure in the deal was for Augur Investments to get 70 percent while the City of Harare was to get 30 percent.

Another company, Ningbo Baitai of China, which had entered into a deal with the city to establish a US$200 million textile manufacturing, oil processing and stock feed businesses has been given a month to fulfil its obligations.

"We wrote to Ningbo informing them that we wanted to cancel our deal with them because since the deal was signed, nothing has materialised, but the company responded in Chinese. So, we gave them a month to respond," he said.

Ningbo Baitai entered into an agreement with the city council to establish a textile manufacturing, oil processing and stock feed business.

Land for the project was allocated near High Glen Shopping Centre.

All the projects were expected to be completed by December last year.

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