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Western Province agrees to Newlands proposal

The loan agreement approved on Tuesday, will enable the WPRFU to pay off its debt to Remgro and Investec Bank. Guarantees have already been obtained in this regard, subject to the ratification of the agreement by a Special General Meeting of the WPRFU on 8 July.

Newlands rugby stadium. Picture: WP Rugby

JOHANNESBURG - The Council of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has voted in favour of a proposed agreement regarding the development of DHL Newlands by an overwhelming majority.

The loan agreement approved on Tuesday, will enable the WPRFU to pay off its debt to Remgro and Investec Bank. Guarantees have already been obtained in this regard, subject to the ratification of the agreement by a Special General Meeting of the WPRFU on 8 July.

The council also approved a proposal that will see the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group incorporate a new company called Newlands DevCo. This company will be owned equally by both parties with the objective of developing the DHL Newlands property into a mixed-use development.

Importantly, the WPRFU will have a 50% share in all economic benefits derived from the future development of the site.

Additionally, the WPRFU council also approved a proposal that another new company be incorporated between the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group, called Brookside DevCo. This new company will purchase the Brookside property and its purpose will be to develop that property as a mixed-use development. This deal will give the WPRFU access to an estimated R40 million in cash, plus 50% of development profits down the line.

WPRFU president Zelt Marais said that this new deal was in the best interests of all stakeholders.

"As the president of WPRFU, I have always acted in the best interests of the union, its members and the broader rugby community. This agreement will allow the union to unlock the value in its properties, so it can invest in the long-term development of clubs and players in the province. This bodes well for the sustainability of Western Province rugby.

"We look forward to working with our development partners, Flyt Property Group. Flyt has an excellent track record in the design, development and management of residential, hospitality, industrial and commercial projects. It has a strong balance sheet, with projects being financed by shareholders’ own capital and it is not reliant on bank funding.

"This is the beginning of an exciting new era for rugby in the Western Cape. Rugby fans will soon be able to enjoy world-class facilities, including a better viewing experience, top-notch safety and security measures and modern corporate hospitality suites at the Cape Town Stadium. Of course, DHL Newlands will always have its place in the history of the sport and we will certainly pay tribute to our heritage at our new home in the heart of Cape Town.

"I would like thank all our members and stakeholders for their unwavering support in uncertain times, and I look forward to taking the next step of this exciting journey with them. Together, we will continue to build and develop rugby in the Western Cape, especially in our most disadvantaged communities, towards finding future champions," he said.

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