NSSA finds investor for closed Beitbridge hotel

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Thupeyo Muleya

Beitbridge – The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) is working on a finalising an agreement with a leading hotel company that will see its Beitbridge hotel re-opening with mixed facilities including accommodation, a casino, tertiary institution and serviced apartments it has emerged.

The 136 room state-of the art built at a cost of $39 million and was formerly leased by the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) was shut down in May 2016 following two years of successive losses.

This publication is reliably informed that the new investor, which was selected following a tender process in July 2016 is made up of mix of local and regional experts in the hotel industry.

NSSA’s acting Chief Executive officer Mr Emerson Mungwariri said yesterday that it was premature to release the name of the new company.

“We are currently negotiating with a Zimbabwean Hotel Management company intending to run the hotel on a franchise under a nine-year lease agreement,” he said.

“An offer was extended, subject to the potential tenant meeting certain leasing conditions such as proof of project capital for running the hotel business.

The potential tenant and its financiers are in the process of carrying out a due diligence assessment on the project, which is expected to satisfy funding requirements.

For professional reasons, we will not disclose the name of the company until there is a signed agreement”.

He said rentals at the property will be charged at commercial rates to ensure sustained returns to the investment.

He said the building (hotel) was still in good condition though some touch ups will be effected before the re-commissioning.

The then Rainbow Beitbridge Hotel was closed in the same year with the African Sun’s Beitbridge Express Hotel in 2016 due to an accrued loss of $507 910 between 2014 and 2015.

Though it could not be readily established how much the organisation was paying to NSSA on rentals annually, it is reported that the RTG board of directors decided to pull out the due to market factors
characterised by depressed occupancies, low margins as well as high operating costs.

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