ERINDI – Gert Joubert, co-owner of the Erindi Private Game Reserve, which is considered the largest private game reserve in southern Africa, said he fully agrees that government should have the first option to buy Erindi.
The older of the two Jouberts who own Erindi is also adamant government does not even have to pay him in cash for the massive game reserve.
“Government is free to consider paying us for Erindi in government bonds. I’m sure there is a queue of international donors who would be willing to contribute to the purchasing of Erindi. I’m sure if President (Hage) Geingob calls someone like Bill Gates he would be more than willing to write out a cheque for this game reserve,” said Joubert.
Erindi was initially offered for N$1.3 billion in 2013 but the price has since been increased by 10 percent to N$1.43 billion to account for at least 5 percent inflation during the last two years.
Joubert bought Erindi for N$2.3 million in 1985 but since then he pumped in hundreds of millions to restock it with game such as rhinos, elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes and built two top-end lodges on this massive game reserve .
When the Jouberts first announced Erindi’s sale two years ago they offered commission of N$65 million for anyone who finds a suitable buyer.
And while the Ministry of Lands recently told New Era the government is still interested in purchasing Erindi, it noted the State is still awaiting a new sale offer from Erindi’s owners.
“We are preparing the sale offer presentation to government and I think one of the most crucial questions that needs to be asked is: what will government be willing to pay for Etosha National Park or the Waterberg Plateau Park (if they were in private hands)?” asked Gert Joubert.
Meanwhile, speaking to New Era from his office at Erindi, Paul Joubert noted that millions of dollars are spent on a monthly basis for operational costs of the massive game reserve that this year spent N$3 million on lucerne for its game in anticipation of the current drought.
He mentioned the more than 50 vehicles that need to be maintained, the physical inspection of the fences, the procurement of food, tools, equipment as well as marketing, to name a few.
“The ripple effect from Erindi’s operational budget means thousands of people benefit from the business and this has a huge impact on the overall Namibian economy. We play a very big role in sustaining the economy in the region and the country,” he remarked.
Gert Joubert also indicated he has employed the services of a private valuator to assess the true value of the game reserve.
“Erindi should fall under a strategic asset allocation programme and should not fall under the Land Reform Act,” he noted.