Erindi sale in Tweya’s hands

20 January 2020 | Environment

OGONE TLHAGE



Minister of industrialisation Tjekero Tweya is set to facilitate a public consultative process regarding the planned sale of the Erindi Private Game Reserve to Mexican billionaire Alberto Baillères.

The game reserve has been on the market for five years for nearly N$2 billion.

Baillères last year contested the conditions the Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) had attached to the sale of the farm.

The main condition for the sale was that there may be no retrenchment of employees as a result of the transaction for a period of five years. The farm measures 65 000 hectares.

The Government Gazette also stipulated that such retrenchments do not include voluntary separation, resignations and voluntary early retirements and those retrenchments that are transaction specific.

A ministry of industrialisation official told Namibian Sun that trade minister Tjekero Tweya would now have to consult members of the public before making a final determination regarding the planned sale of Erindi to Baillères.

“The minister must issue a two-week public consultation process in a Government Gazette,” the official said. “The minister made a determination but it is still with the legal drafters.”

NaCC spokesperson Dina Gowases told Namibian Sun that the commission had already made its decision on the matter, adding that any further work on the deal now lay with the ministry of industrialisation.

“The Commission’s determination on the Erindi sale was contested by the buyer, who made a formal appeal to the minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development. Our determination is gazetted in the Government Gazette. The minister’s decision can be ascertained through [contact to the] relevant office,” Gowases said.

Baillères is the president of Mexico-based BAL Group, which has a proven and strong reputation, having operated for more than a century. BAL Group has diversified interests and Baillères has experience with managing several wildlife protection ranches in different parts of the world.

Baillères is a philanthropist who aims to transform Erindi into a world-class game reserve, in line with the ministry of environment and tourism's guidelines.

In his bid to buy the farm, he said his intention is to preserve Erindi for future generations and ensure that it continues to provide a sanctuary and safe environment for rare and valuable species such as elephants, black rhino, white rhino, wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards and lions, that are unique and an essential part of African culture and heritage.

Numerous attempts to get comment from Tweya proved futile.

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