RCC snaps up Auasblick plots at auction

RCC snaps up Auasblick plots at auction

A BIDDER from the Roads Contractor Company dominated the auction of 44 new erven at Auasblick in Windhoek on Friday, buying 20 of the properties at a total cost of N$8,7 million on behalf of the parastatal.

The RCC is branching out into property development. Fridays purchases are part of this diversification strategy, the parastatals top management said after the auction.”State House expropriation unease? What unease?” appeared to be the general attitude among bidders at the auction.Despite pre-auction concerns that some of the erven that would be sold could still be targeted for expropriation by Government as part of its plan to establish a security zone around the site of the new State House complex in Auasblick, all of the properties that the City of Windhoek put up for sale in the upmarket neighbourhood were snatched up.Eighteen of these were sold for more than half a million Namibia dollars each.The average upset price the city had set for the 44 erven was N$129 244.Eager bidders drove up prices far beyond that, to an average of some N$425 600.One of the eager bidders was a representative of the RCC.He bought the first two erven to be sold, then sat out the selling of the next six properties, before buying the next 18 plots of land on the trot.It appeared that he had been sent to the auction with carte blanche to buy at whatever price.At stages of the auction his card with his bidders number on it remained up in the air, until all that had been counter-bidding against him had dropped out of the chase.In the process, prices were driven up to some of the highest levels yet paid for property in Auasblick, at one stage prompting some in the crowd to boo.Someone yelled “unfair” as the RCC buyer promptly continued to outbid all others to clinched the parastatals fourteenth buy of the morning.The highest price paid for an erf at the auction was N$600 000, for a plot which had an upset price of N$128 511.The RCC was the buyer.The second highest price bid was N$570 000.Again the RCC was the buyer.It bought nine erven for N$500 000 or more.One other buyer bought a plot for N$570 000 after the RCC bidder had exited the auction.The second plot that fetched that price was close to twice the size of the one that the RCC buyer had paid the same price for, though.It also comes with a view over the south-eastern side of the State House which is precisely the type of location that landed other properties in the neighbourhood on the list of properties that would be expropriated in the interest of the new presidential complexs security.In total, the auction netted N$18,7 million for the City of Windhoek.Of that, N$8,7 million would have to be paid by the RCC, which is a company that, according to its latest annual report, realised an after-tax profit of N$474 403 in the year up to March 2003, and had a debt load totalling some N$125 million.It had closed off the previous year with an after-tax loss of N$19,1 million.The purchases that the company made in Auasblick on Friday form part of its plans, as a civil engineering company, to also carry out property development, according to RCC Chief Executive Officer Kelly Nghixulifwa.”We believe we can do business with it,” he said.Jacob Nghifindaka, RCC spokesperson and Senior Manager:Human Resources, added that the company regarded property development as part of its business scope, and if the RCC was thinking of growing and expanding on that scope, the Auasblick purchases were part of its strategy to do so.He said that while the RCCs business predominantly had been to construct and maintain roads, it had widened its scope to position itself as a civil engineering concern.In a competitive market, the company would be taking a risk to limit its focus on road building and upkeep only, thus the foray into property, he said.Nghifindaka put it this way:The RCC is “trying to be a little bit visionary and expand our operations”.Fridays purchases are part of this diversification strategy, the parastatals top management said after the auction.”State House expropriation unease? What unease?” appeared to be the general attitude among bidders at the auction.Despite pre-auction concerns that some of the erven that would be sold could still be targeted for expropriation by Government as part of its plan to establish a security zone around the site of the new State House complex in Auasblick, all of the properties that the City of Windhoek put up for sale in the upmarket neighbourhood were snatched up.Eighteen of these were sold for more than half a million Namibia dollars each.The average upset price the city had set for the 44 erven was N$129 244.Eager bidders drove up prices far beyond that, to an average of some N$425 600.One of the eager bidders was a representative of the RCC.He bought the first two erven to be sold, then sat out the selling of the next six properties, before buying the next 18 plots of land on the trot.It appeared that he had been sent to the auction with carte blanche to buy at whatever price.At stages of the auction his card with his bidders number on it remained up in the air, until all that had been counter-bidding against him had dropped out of the chase.In the process, prices were driven up to some of the highest levels yet paid for property in Auasblick, at one stage prompting some in the crowd to boo.Someone yelled “unfair” as the RCC buyer promptly continued to outbid all others to clinched the parastatals fourteenth buy of the morning.The highest price paid for an erf at the auction was N$600 000, for a plot which had an upset price of N$128 511.The RCC was the buyer.The second highest price bid was N$570 000.Again the RCC was the buyer.It bought nine erven for N$500 000 or more.One other buyer bought a plot for N$570 000 after the RCC bidder had exited the auction.The second plot that fetched that price was close to twice the size of the one that the RCC buyer had paid the same price for, though.It also comes with a view over the south-eastern side of the State House which is precisely the type of location that landed other properties in the neighbourhood on the list of properties that would be expropriated in the interest of the new presidential complexs security.In total, the auction netted N$18,7 million for the City of Windhoek.Of that, N$8,7 million would have to be paid by the RCC, which is a company that, according to its latest annual report, realised an after-tax profit of N$474 403 in the year up to March 2003, and had a debt load totalling some N$125 million.It had closed off the previous year with an after-tax loss of N$19,1 million.The purchases that the company made in Auasblick on Friday form part of its plans, as a civil engineering company, to also carry out property development, according to RCC Chief Executive Officer Kelly Nghixulifwa.”We believe we can do business with it,” he said.Jacob Nghifindaka, RCC spokesperson and Senior Manager:Human Resources, added that the company regarded property development as part of its business scope, and if the RCC was thinking of growing and expanding on that scope, the Auasblick purchases were part of its strategy to do so.He said that while the RCCs business predominantly had been to construct and maintain roads, it had widened its scope to position itself as a civil engineering concern.In a competitive market, the company would be taking a risk to limit its focus on road building and upkeep only, thus the foray into property, he said.Nghifindaka put it this way:The RCC is “trying to be a little bit visionary and expand our operations”.

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