19 Apr 2019 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 19 APR (NAMPA) Government will negotiate an out of court settlement with the owners of the Erindi Private Game Reserve, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa has announced.
Speaking at a media briefing on Cabinet resolutions in the capital on Thursday, Simataa said it was in the best interest of the government to acquire the game farm.
Government however does not have the financial resources to buy Erindi and the farms that constitute the game reserve at the rate offered and therefore, has opted to negotiate a settlement.
Its own valuation is also much less that the amount offered by the reserve co-owners, brothers Gert and Paul Joubert, both South African nationals.
Currently, the reserve is up for sale at close to N.dollars 2 billion, but the Namibian government has valued it at N.dollars 265 million, Simataa said.
It was first offered in 2013 for US.dollars 110 million (N.dollars 1.1 billion at the then exchange rate).
Simataa further noted that Erindi is not suitable for resettlement purposes, because the farms would require a lot of money to be operated as game lodges as they have a lot of protected game.
Cabinet also took note that the Land Acquisition and Development Fund established under Section 13 of the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act of 1995 (Act No. 6 of 1995) cannot, by law, be used to purchase a non-resettlement farm, added Simataa.
In addition, the government wants to avoid a situation where ownership would simply move from one foreigner to another foreigner, and would like to see it moving from the foreign owners to Namibians.
Erindi is situated on the B1 road between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo, and covers more than 70 000 hectares.