The Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino (WCCR) today paid N$40 million towards the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) as settlement of a loan that was secured from the fund.
Presenting the money on behalf of the WCCR Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sven Thieme said that the loan had helped the WCCR implement strategic objectives.
“As in life, so in business there have been challenges which we have had to overcome without losing sight of our strategic observations. While to a large degree the Windhoek Country Club has been in a profitable trading position for quiet some time now and we possess large cash reserves, we have not rested on our laurels,” said Thieme.
When Thieme and his new board of directors ‘inherited’ the WCCR in 2003, it was technically insolvent with liabilities outstripping assets by N$170 million.
The hotel had just defaulted on its GIPF loan that was guaranteed by Government. The loan was honoured, courtesy of the taxpayer, with Government subsequently becoming the sole shareholder in the beleaguered parastatal, and paid Legacy Resorts and Hotels to manage it.
Receiving the cheque on behalf of the GIPF, new Chief Executive Officer David Nuyoma said that the settlement of the loan signified the importance of having the right skills and attitudes in the successful management of business.
“The relationship between GIPF and WCCR dates back to the incorporation of the hotel in 1994. In view of this relationship, an agreement to fund the construction phase of the hotel through various loans was hatched and a pro – development Government of the Republic of Namibia provided guarantees to some of the loans. The strategic decision was made in line with Regulation 28 of the Pensions Funds Act which requires pension funds to invest a minimum of 35% of assets in Namibia. This regulation further allows pension funds to invest 5% of assets in unlisted investments to ensure that Namibian domestic savings are channelled into the local economy,” said Nuyoma.