By Thupeyo Muleya
The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has identified a new company that will re-open its $39 million hotel in Beitbridge which was closed in May 2016.
The 136-roomed state-of-the-art facility was formerly leased by the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG), which pulled out following two years of successive losses.
Sources close to the deal said the hotel will be reopened with mixed facilities, including accommodation, a casino, tertiary institution and serviced apartments.
NSSA’s acting general manager Mr Emerson Mungwariri confirmed the development saying it was premature to release the name of the new company.
“The authority has reached an agreement with a potential partner subject to final commercial arrangements for a mixed use operation at the property. The agreement has not been finalised yet,” he said.
“We cannot release the name of the new company because we are sensitive to commercial arrangements. However, the players are a mix of local experts with current operations and an international partner looking to expand their brand on the African continent.
“You will note that we did embark on a public tender in July 2016 and the bidder responded to that tender and currently the lease period is under negotiation and will be subject to performance on any renewal period”.
He said rental at the property will be at commercial rates to ensure sustained returns to the investment.
Mr Mungwariri said the building is in good condition, although some touch ups will be done before the re-commissioning.
He said the investment was made to be an ongoing generator of revenue and to contribute to the tourism potential of Beitbridge town.
“We expect dividends to go beyond market rentals and to include foreign currency generation, employment creation and supply chain opportunities for suppliers in the Beitbridge area,” he said.