THE Minister of Information and Communication Technology today announced that government does not at the moment have the N$2 billion that is needed to purchase the Erindi Private Game Reserve.
Stanley Simataa was speaking at a media briefing in the Namibian Capital when he said government can only purchase the farm at the N$265 million, which is government’s calculated value of the game farm.
The owners are asking for approximately N$2 billion, an amount which government currently cannot meet.
Simataa called on Namibian businessmen and women to invest into the farm instead of selling the farm fully to foreign investors.
An out-of-of court negotiation was approved by cabinet between the land reform ministry, Attorney General and the owners, for the interest of government and Namibians.
Government, he added, is seeking for conditions that would see a joint venture between Namibians and prospective foreign buyers.
“We, however, call on foreign investment. Investors should not go alone but should do so at the indulgence of local Namibians. There should be a balance in terms of ownership. We therefore appeal to Namibians with the means to invest to take advantage of this opportunity,” Simataa said.
Simataa also stated that the farms that constitute the Game reserve are not suitable for resettlement purposes, saying it would require a lot to run it as it contains game, lodges and protected game.
In the 70s and 80s, Erindi was a cattle farm before it was converted into a hunting farm.
Game was later introduced and hunting was stopped in 2007 before the farm was officially transformed into a nature conservation.