Newlands: WPRFU 'control' their own destiny
UPDATE: The Western Province Rugby Football Union is adamant they now control their own destiny, after taking the next step in the redevelopment process of the Newlands Stadium.
WPRFU President Zelt Marais confirmed that the partnership with Flyt Property Group – to unlock a loan of ZAR112-million from Dream World Investments 401 (Pty) Ltd – was approved at a Special General Meeting on Wednesday.
This comes a week after the Council voted in favour of the deal.
“I am pleased to announce that the WPRFU’ determined efforts to put the union on a stable financial footing received a resounding vote of confidence,” Marais said.
“The loan and development partnership with Flyt Property Investment means that we can now move forward in an exciting new chapter for Western Province Rugby and the many clubs that are part of our community.”
Wednesday’s decision means the WPRFU will be able to settle its ZAR112-million debt with Remgro and Investec.
“We can now plan for a sustainable future for our Union,” Marais said.
It will allow WPRFU to form two new companies – Newlands DevCo and Brookside DevCo – as equal partners with Flyt Property Investment.
The next big step is for the two companies – through their development partner Flyt – to obtain development rights for the Newlands Stadium and Brookside properties.
“Significantly, the decision also gives us the green light to finalise negotiations with the City of Cape Town to become the anchor tenant at the currently under-utilised Cape Town Stadium,” Marais said.
He added that even though Newlands Stadium has already seen the last match, they are planning a ‘fitting farewell’ for the Grand Old Dame.
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“We recognise that Newlands stadium holds a special place in the hearts of rugby fans, and in the history of the sport,” Marais said.
“We plan to pay homage to its rich heritage over the coming year, with a special event and permanent tribute at the stadium, so it is always remembered.”
He admitted there has been a lot of ‘uncertainty’ over the past few months on the future of Western Province rugby.
“This decision provides the WPRFU with significantly more control than previous agreements,” the President said.
“The decision ensures the WPRFU is able to use its property portfolio for sound and sustainable economic benefits and puts us on a firm financial footing moving forward.”
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