South Africa: Western Province Rugby Union Steps Into the Unknown With Flyt

analysis

The Western Province Rugby Football Union has willingly stepped into, at the very least, a rushed agreement over the sale of the Newlands Rugby Stadium property that could have massive ramifications for the union in the future.

On Tuesday night, the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) Council, made up of all the union's clubs across the province, by majority vote, decided to follow the lead of its president, Zelt Marais, and accept a R112-million loan from a small Cape Town-based company called Flyt Property Investment (formerly known as AnySide).

This was the only option put on the table after Marais walked away from a done deal with the Investec Property Fund last month. The WPRFU had agreed to sell the development rights of its Newlands property portfolio and lease the land to the investment institution for a period of 99 years.

Essentially, the WPRFU is taking on additional debt, while still struggling to service its existing obligations to Remgro (currently at R58-million). Daily Maverick was told the union has already spent the R50-million it received from the Investec Property Fund in 2019 in an effort to stay afloat.

The arrangement with Investec was also supposed to settle the outstanding...

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