N$4bn President's Link Estate to proceed with existing regulations

Developers of the N$4 billion President's Link Estate in Walvis Bay say they are proceeding with their development plans while the government finalizes and implements a visa designed to benefit investors who purchase property in the estate.

The project's promoters told The Brief that although they would have preferred a Residence-by-Investment (RBI) visa for the project to allow buyers to stay on their properties beyond the current permitted 90 days, buyers will have to comply with the existing visa regime while the government and the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) work to finalize the Golden Visa.

"In the meantime, we are using the Foreign Investment Act to apply for Investment Visas for our purchasers until such time as the Golden Visa program is up and running, and depending on the visa requirements, we will then migrate over to that program. We will continue marketing to attract foreign investors to Namibia," said Andrew van Schalkwyk.

"It's also important to note that the work visa that is going to be issued to our investors will not enable them to seek employment; they cannot take a Namibian's job. They can only start their own companies if they so wish. If you want to encourage people to invest in Namibia, make the time available to them to spend in Namibia."

The Golden Visa program, contained in the Harambee Prosperity Plan II (HPP II), has the potential to raise millions in foreign investment, with the aim of designing and providing competitive investment incentives to facilitate local and foreign direct investment attraction and retention in Namibia. The program was initially set for implementation in the second quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year.

"The NIPDB is in the process of crafting a concept for a Namibian RBI framework called the Desert Visa Programme, which covers various categories of investment and proposes certain conditions for each category. Amongst the various categories conceptualized under this framework is one on RBI through real estate investments," said NIPDB Chief Executive Officer Nangula Uaandja.

She added, "The NIPDB is currently working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security (MHAISS) to ensure that all aspects and potential gaps in the program are well considered, and that the criteria for the approvals for real estate developments qualifying for RBI are well set out before submitting the same to Cabinet for approval."

The President's Link Estate acquired prime land in Walvis Bay in 2020 and plans to develop 745 luxury residential properties and a world-class golf course on a 148-hectare piece of land in Walvis Bay. It is expected to create over 2500 temporary jobs and 1300 permanent jobs, according to its promoters.

However, the MHAISS Executive Director Etienne Maritz has stated that the Namibian government does not currently have a policy to support the developers and advises foreign nationals wishing to obtain citizenship or residence status in Namibia to do so in accordance with the Namibian Citizenship Act of 1990 and the Immigration Control Act of 1993, respectively. "It should be noted and made clear that the ministry does not favor any particular company, nor does it endorse particular projects," he said.

Meanwhile, Uaandja said she had advised the project promoters to attract investors based on the existing laws and regulations as applied by MHAISS.

She said, " At its inception in 2021, the NIPDB was familiarised with the President’s Link Estate development in Walvis Bay. The project promoters sought the assistance of the Board with the provision of several investor services in line with our mandate to render investment facilitation services to potential investors. In accordance with the above-mentioned HPP II objective, the project promoters further requested an update and have been following up on the status of the Golden Visa program.”

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Last modified on Wednesday, 15 March 2023 20:31

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