Rescue plan for Omeya's residents

Major investments in jeopardy

29 October 2021 | Life Style

Windhoek • [email protected]

Bank Windhoek's representatives last night tried to convince homeowners at Omeya to lend their support to a rescue plan for the luxury golf estate on the outskirts of the capital.
At an earlier meeting on Monday, 78 homeowners rejected the plan. The main concern is the use of levies against homeowners to pay off debt.
This all follows a complex division of responsibilities and a series of murky internal agreements were made vulnerable by the collapse of the housing market, that the Omeya Homeowners Association (Ohoa) approached the courts late last year to liquidate the business and the largest creditor, Bank Windhoek, intervened to stop the liquidation.
Bank Windhoek and Omeya's developer have reached a temporary settlement agreement to place the latter under judicial management, rather than to liquidate it. The developer is Omeya Golf and Residential Oasis (Ogro).
Ogro was already in the red with two of its largest creditors, Bank Windhoek and FNB Namibia, to whom it owed about N$133 million and N$12 million respectively.
Ogro said it could not meet its monthly repayments of N$900 000 and N$75 000 respectively to these banks. In addition, it has to provide another monthly financial assistance of about N$660 000 to its various subsidiaries. Some of Ogro's subsidiaries include the Omeya Real Estate Agency, a private school, Lilamed, which manages the operations of the retirement and care centre, the Omeya Development Trust (OIC), an infrastructure company, a retirement and care centre, as well as a residents' association. .
As part of the settlement, Ogro was placed under provisional judicial management and Alwyn van Straten of Executrust submitted his report to the master's office earlier this year. In it, Van Straten questioned the legality of certain transactions and core agreements, such as the management agreement between Ohoa and Ogro.
Nevertheless, the latter agreement is still an important part of the proposed rescue plan of Daniel Terblanche and his fellow South African board members, appointed to the Ogro board by Bank Windhoek.
Terblanche says the Government Institutions Pension Fund's Namibia Infrastructure Development Fund (NIF) is willing to spend another N$65 million on top of the previous N$38 million investment for which NIF acquired 49% of OIC. The OIC arose from the management agreement between Ohoa and Ogro and the plan is for NIF to take over the company as a whole.
At a previous meeting, the homeowners demanded that their elected directors be re-appointed to Ogro, that Bank Windhoek and Ogro reaffirm Ohoa's independence and that the bank negotiate with them on the future of Omeya.
"If Bank Windhoek continues to implement this ‘plan’, homeowners will have no option but to withdraw their bank accounts, investments and debit orders from Bank Windhoek, approach the media, withhold levies and arrange mass protest events,” their complaint read.
Bank Windhoek referred all questions to Terblanche, who told this publication he would only be able to give feedback today (Friday). Without a solution, the case will return to the high court on 4 February 2021.

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