Media: Clarity sought on R20bn tourist project

24 03 2009

24 March 2009, 06:42
Source: Daily News

Ruwaad Holdings, the financier of a R20-billion tourist development at Macambini on the North Coast, is concerned that general agreement for the project has not been signed even though a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last year with the KwaZulu-Natal government will expire within weeks.

Ruwaad on Monday met an ANC task team led by Cyril Xaba, a member of the provincial legislature, to steer the AmaZulu World project forward amid concerns that commencement had been delayed.
A spectacular model of the theme park, to be built on 16 500ha of land north of the Tugela River, was unveiled in Dubai in October.

However, Macambini residents have expressed concern that the development could force people to move off their ancestral land.

The issue was further muddied when another Dubai firm, Sports Cities International, said it had been given the right to develop the area.

Ruwaad chairperson Hanif Merchant raised several concerns about the progress of AmaZulu World in a letter addressed to Xaba and copied to ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize, Premier S’bu Ndebele and KwaZulu-Natal director-general Kwazi Mbanjwa.

“Since our MOU expires on April 9, we are extremely anxious to make progress and to conclude the general agreement prior to expiry date,” Merchant wrote.

The details of the MOU were never made public. Attempts to obtain a copy from the premier’s office were unsuccessful on Monday.

Ruwaad had made considerable investment in AmaZulu World and was seeking a meeting with the provincial cabinet to establish “concrete steps to see the project to fruition without further delays”.

* This article was originally published on page 1 of The Mercury on March 24, 2009

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