SA to be the racetrack of African kings

Posted On Thursday, 17 December 2009 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
Rate this item
(0 votes)

African countries could soon have their race horses galloping in Plettenberg Bay, that's if Africa Race Estate is allowed to develop a R1.3bn track, pavilion, a five-star hotel and village in the area.

Alan WindeAfrican countries could soon have their race horses galloping in Plettenberg Bay - that's if Africa Race Estate is allowed to develop an ambitious R1.3-billion track, pavilion, a five-star hotel and village in the area.

Though the man on the street will be able to race at the planned annual Africa Race International, the developers are targeting African countries, their royalty and super-rich.

Africa Race Estate, which has the full backing of Western Cape MEC for finance, economic development and tourism Alan Winde, said the development would begin as soon as regulatory requirements such as an environmental impact assessment and rezoning of the 60ha land had been cleared.

Phindi Kema, a director at African Race Estate, said: "We are building the home of African racing. Taking the lead will be African countries and their royals.

"This is a sport of kings and it's only natural that you will have African royalty taking part in the race.

"The whole idea is to have royal families and the rich and famous backing or even owning specific horses in the race. The critical aspect of it is the visibility of African royalty," she said.

Initially, the race would feature Libya, Swaziland, Morocco, Nigeria and Angola, Kema said, adding that more and more royalty would be lured as time went on.

Though she would not reveal the funders, she said finance would come from local and Middle Eastern partners.

Qatar is speculated to be one of the partners in the race.

She said her company had roped in a European expert on horses to manage and market the race internationally.

"We have to raise the bar. This is historic and the first of its kind in Africa. We see the race as one that Africa will be very proud of."

Winde said he was excited by the proposed race.

"People talk to me all the time, but I was very impressed with [Kema]. She has good plans and I must help her.

"The idea sounds very exciting. Horses are a big part of the Plettenberg Bay region and we will facilitate whatever needs to be facilitated.

"If we can't do it on that piece of land we will do it on another piece of land."

Though the final approval of the project depends on the department of agriculture and the Bitou Municipality in Plettenberg Bay, he said he did not see any reason why they wouldn't support a programme that would develop and create jobs in the area.

All interested parties, he said, would meet on January 25 to discuss the way forward.

Last modified on Monday, 19 May 2014 09:50

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.